The independent, international human rights arm of the Bar of England and WalesPromoting and Protecting Human Rights

Through the Rule of Law

About BHRC

The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC) is the independent, international human rights arm of the Bar of England and Wales, working to protect the rights of advocates, judges, and human rights defenders around the world. BHRC is concerned with defending the rule of law and internationally recognised legal standards relating to human rights and the right to a fair trial. It is autonomous of the Bar Council.
BHRC works around the world to uphold international human rights law, as well as internationally recognised human rights norms and standards. We provide expert guidance and advice to local partner NGOs, legal professionals and State institutions.
BHRC supports and protects lawyers, judges and human rights defenders, all those who are oppressed in their work or face retaliations through harassment, persecution, violence or arbitrary arrest, detention and death.
BHRC improves understanding and implementation of international human rights protections through education, awareness-raising and bespoke international human rights law training.
BHRC works with domestic and international organisations to advance human rights and promote justice and respect for human rights through the rule of law.
BHRC undertakes trial observations, prepares amicus curiae briefs, publishes reports and submissions on global human rights issues, holds events and training sessions, and lends expertise to public events on human rights around the world.
The remit of BHRC extends to all countries of the world, apart from its own jurisdiction of England and Wales. This reflects the Committee’s need to maintain its role as an independent but legally qualified observer and critic.

BHRC is dedicated to promoting principles of justice and respect for fundamental human rights through the rule of law

Our vision is for a world in which human rights are universally protected, through every government and state actor’s adherence to international law obligations and internationally-agreed norms.

Join the Bar Human Rights Committee of England & Wales

We rely on membership subscriptions and individual donations to fund our ongoing work around the world.

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Our latest updates

RECENT REPORTSBHRC Guantanamo Military Trial Observation Report

In June 2023, BHRC launched its latest Guantanamo Military Commissions Trial Observation Report on issues including the prohibition of the use of evidence obtained and tainted by torture, the use of hearsay evidence, and fair trial rights, based on their observations. Download the report and watch the event recording below.

RECENT REPORTSThe Edge of Law: A regional approach to confronting key legal challenges

In September 2022, the Bar Human Rights Committee of England & Wales and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative were proud to release this new joint report, The Edge of Law: A regional approach to confronting key legal challenges. The Report synthesises the findings of a path breaking virtual dialogue series hosted between November 2021-March 2022, during which BHRC and ABA ROLI created a regional platform where practitioners, academics, civil society actors and policymakers could openly discuss some of the most acute challenges to the rule of law in Asia, contributing to and building regional consensus on the human rights realities in Hong Kong, China, India, and other Central and Southeast Asian countries.

RECENT REPORTSBHRC Special Report on Judicial Independence in Hong Kong SAR applying ABA Judicial Monitor Toolkit

In January 2023, BHRC released a Special Report on Judicial Independence in Hong Kong SAR, which applies the ABA Judicial Independence Monitor Toolkit designed to assess vulnerabilities and strengths of judicial independence in different jurisdictions. The BHRC report concisely and authoritatively sets out the current situation and critical challenges to judicial independence in Hong Kong for members of the judiciary, the legal profession, and civil society (as at December 2022).