State of emergency and attacks to the legal profession in Turkey

UN side event - State of emergency and attacks to the legal profession in Turkey

Thursday 21 June 2018, 15:00 - 16:00, Room XXV, Palais des Nations, Geneva


An event co-organised by the IBA Human Rights Institute, the Law Society of England and Wales, and the Bar Human Rights Committee



Panelists will share their analysis on the impact of the state of emergency on the rule of law and the ongoing obstacles faced by the legal profession in Turkey since the failed coup in 2016. They will also discuss Turkey’s derogations from its international and regional human rights obligations, as well as the response of regional and international human rights mechanisms to this situation.  


  • Lawyers for Lawyers
  • Union Internationale des Avocats
  • Lawyers Rights Watch Canada

Speaker biographies

  • Özlem Zingil, Turkish lawyer, has been a member of Istanbul Bar Association since 2003 and is currently finishing her Ph.D. in Public Law at Istanbul Bilgi University. She is specialised in public law, more particularly human rights. She alsoworks with the Truth Justice Memory Center in Istanbul on monitoring trials, documenting gross human rights violations, analysing data and supporting legal professionals during investigations and judicial proceedings including AmicusCuriae submissions before the Turkish Constitutional Court and ECtHR. She also with Transparency International Turkey, supported the activities of the Hrant Dink Foundation and Van Bar Association. Since 2013, she has been involved with the initiative: Networks of Dispossession.

  • Massimo Frigo, Senior Legal Adviser, International Commission of Jurists, is an international and comparative law expert with particular focus on migration, counter-terrorism, criminal justice, accountability and access to effective remedies and reparations, and the independence of the judiciary and legal profession. Massimo joined the ICJ in 2007 in the Global Security and Rule of Law Programme, the Business and Human Rights programme and Legal and Policy Office. Prior to joining the ICJ, he assisted in the research of the International Council on Human Rights Policy. Massimo holds an LL M of the University of London and a Law Degree (Laurea in Giurisprudenza) of the University of Trento.

  • Tony Fisher, Chair of the Human Rights Committee of the Law Society of England and Wales, undertakes international and domestic human rights work and has appeared as an advocate in the European Court of Human Rights on many occasions. He is a Fellow of the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex and is Chair of the Human Rights Committee of the Law Society of England and Wales. He also sits on the Council of the Law Society as the representative for the Essex constituency and on the International Issues Committee, which oversees the international work of the Law Society.
  • Stephen Cragg QC, Secretary of the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales, is a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers in London. He specialises in human rights cases both in domestic courts and international human rights courts, often concentrating on police powers, state surveillance and security issues. He has trial observation and human rights training experience in many countries including Turkey, Palestine, the Maldives and Albania.

  • Natacha Bracq, Programme Lawyer, International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, is a lawyer registered with the Paris Bar. She manages the IBA’s Human Rights Institute’s work in the MENA Region and Turkey. Her expertise encompasses international human rights, humanitarian and criminal law. She worked before various international tribunals and on investigations and prosecutions of international crimes in Ukraine.

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