PANEL DISCUSSION: Anti-terror Legislation and the Obstruction of Justice

Please find below information on our next  meeting, which is free and open to the public. All welcome!

Anti-terror Legislation and the Obstruction of Justice

The Implications of Mass Trials in Turkey for the Peace Process with the Kurds

Wednesday 9 October 2013, 6.30pm

Venue: Garden Court Chambers, 57-60 Lincolns Inn Fields, London WC2A (closest tube Holborn)

Chair: Prof Bill Bowring School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London; President of the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH); International Secretary of the Haldane Society and Founder and Chair of the International Steering Committee, of the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC).

Panelists: Margaret Owen OBE, barrister/Door tenant, 9 Bedford Row Chambers; Bronwen Jones, barrister, Tooks Chambers; Tony Fisher, solicitor and Law Society Human Rights Committee member; Hugo Charlton, barrister, 1 Grays Inn Square Chambers; Ali Has, solicitor/advocate and member of the Law Society Human Rights Committee International Action Team; Mark Jones, barrister, St Ives Chambers.

Organised by Peace in Kurdistan Campaign and Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC), Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH)

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Kurdish Lawyers on Trial in Turkey: A Travesty of Justice

Press Statement, 24.09.2013

Six UK lawyers*) formed part of the 30-strong delegation of European human rights lawyers, from several countries, that, on the 17th September, observed, at the Silivri prison court, the 6th hearing of the trial of 45 Kurdish lawyers, who face criminal charges under Turkey’s anti-terror laws.

It has been 22 months since these lawyers were rounded up in dawn raids by Turkey’s anti-terror police. Throughout this period many of the defendants have been held in pre-trial detention, without any reason being given. From time to time, some have been bailed, but 16 lawyers still remain incarcerated.

The next one-day hearing will not be until December 19th, but trials such as these could be prolonged so as to go on for many years.

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BHRC launches latest report into KCK lawyers trial

Melanie Gingell, barrister from Tooks Chambers and member of the Bar Human Rights Committee, has written a report into the fourth hearing of the ongoing KCK  trial of 46 lawyers in Istanbul, which took place on 28 March 2013. Further observations of the hearing have already been provided by Margaret Owen and Tony Fisher, who joined Melanie at the Silivri court house as international monitors.

The report has been published on the BHRC website, where it is available for download.

The trials continues on 20 June 2013.

Turkish justice system cast into major doubt

This article was originally published in the Morning Star


by David Morgan

Grave concerns are mounting over a mass trial of lawyers in Istanbul who are being charged and tried for terrorism offences.

The 47 lawyers in the dock had represented Kurdish leader and founder of the Kurdistan Workers Party Abdullah Ocalan (pictured) who has been in jail since 1999.

Outside observers fear that the lawyers are actually being tried simply for carrying out their work as lawyers.

Evidence against them had been gathered by tapping their private meetings with Ocalan – a flagrant breach of confidentiality – and the defendants were not given full access to the prosecution case against them, impeding the preparation of their cases. Continue reading

The mass trial of 36 defence lawyers

The following is a press statement written by Margaret Owen OBE and Ali Has, solicitor-advocate, who recently returned from observing the KCK trial against Abdullah Ocalan’s lawyers in Istanbul. They joined international delegates from all over Europe who arrived to monitor the trial and support the defendants. A full report of reflections from the trial will be published in the near future, and we shall also try to publish observations from other international delegates from across Europe as we receive them.

The mass trial of 36 defence lawyers

Turkey prosecutes lawyers for defending their clients

Press Statement*)
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