EventsNewsJune 14, 2018

UN Side Event: “State of emergency and attacks to the legal profession in Turkey”

The Bar Human Rights Committee, Law Society and IBA Human Rights Institue  co-organised a UN side event at the Palais des Nations in Geneva to discuss the challenges that the Turkish legal profession has been facing since the failed coup in July 2016. The event took place on 21 June 2018 at 15:00-16:00 in Room XXV at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Ozlem Zingil, a Turkish lawyer, who presented on the experiences and obstacles faced by lawyers in Turkey in performing their legitimate professional work.

Massimo Frigo, the Senior Legal Adviser of the ICJ, discussed the impact of the state of emergency on the rule of law and Turkey’s derogations from its international human rights obligations.

Tony Fisher, Chair of the Law Society’s Human Rights Committee, spoke about the judgements of the European Court of Human Rights in relation tocases received involving Turkey.

Stephen Cragg QC, BHRC Secretary, provided insights on the use of trial observations in Turkey.

The side event was chaired by Natacha Bracq, Programme Lawyer of the IBA’s Human Rights Institute. The event was co-sponsored by Lawyers for Lawyers, the Union Internationale des Avocats and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada.


You can view the full session here.


Özlem Zingil, Turkish lawyer

Ozlem Zingil 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 also works 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 Amicus Curiae submissions before the Turkish Constitutional Court and ECtHR. She also worked with Transparency International Turkey and 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, International Commission of Jurists

Massimo Frigo 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

Tony Fisher 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

Stephen Cragg QC is secretary of the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales, and 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

Natacha Bracq is a lawyer registered with the Paris Bar. She manages IBAHRI’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.