Justice has no Borders

International Criminal Bar


GENEVA (14 February 2017) – Three United Nations human rights experts have called on the Government of Kenya to cease its systematic crackdown on civil society groups, which has intensified in the lead-up to national elections scheduled in August.

“We are extremely alarmed at the increasing number of attacks on civil society as the elections draw closer,” said the UN Special Rapporteurs on freedoms of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai; on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye; and on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst.

“It appears that there is a systematic and deliberate pattern to crack down on civil society groups which challenge governmental policies, educate voters, investigate human rights abuses and uncover corruption. These issues are extremely important in a democracy, and attempting to shut down the debate taking place in the civic space threatens to irreparably taint the legitimacy of the upcoming elections,” they added.*

The experts’ call comes just a month after the Interior Ministry called for the closure of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) deemed to be ‘not properly licensed’. A Government circular alleged the groups had been involved in ‘nefarious activities’ and claimed they posed a serious threat to national security including money laundering, diversion of donor aid and terrorism financing.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) - the leading human rights NGO in the country - was also threatened with investigation, amid allegations of mismanagement and other offences. Officials have also called for the KHRC’s financial assets to be frozen.

“The authorities should not have discretion to arbitrarily shut down associations, to decide which ones can register, or to interfere in their day to day operations,” the experts said. “The right to freedom of association is a fundamental right, and like all fundamental rights, its exercise cannot be predicated upon government permission.”

Several high-level officials have publicly condemned foreign interference with the electoral process, especially through NGOs working in the field of civic education.

The experts also highlighted as an obstacle the Government’s failure to implement the country’s Public Benefit Organization (PBO) Act, which was signed on 14 January 2013, and has not been gazetted. The legislation aims to provide a better enabling environment for NGOs.

“It is astonishing that four years after its passage, the PBO Act has yet to be operationalized, despite a court order directing the Government to do so,” the experts said.

The experts urged the Government to gazette the law immediately, and more generally, to improve the environment for civil society ahead of the elections.

“The right to freedom of association is critical in pre-electoral contexts, where voters bear the solemn duty of electing their representatives,” the experts said. “Voters cannot properly perform this duty when they are deprived of an environment that facilitates the exchange of ideas – including dissenting ideas.”

“Elections are a time when governments should give people more space – not less – to organize, voice their concerns and express their collective will,” the experts concluded. “We call on the Government of Kenya to expand this space, not to contract it.”

(*) Read the report (A/68/299) of Special Rapporteur Kiai on the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in the context of elections

Mr. Maina Kiai, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Mr. David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and Mr. Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council.

Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity. 
UN Human Rights, Country Page: Kenya 

Source: United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner

Cumbre Interamericana de Mujeres Abogadas - Lima del 21 al 23 Enero 2016

Cumbre Interamericana de Mujeres Abogadas - Lima del 21 al 23 Enero 2016 3 de octubre de 2015 Inscribite Aqui En las próximas décadas, podemos estar lidiando con un panorama legal que será diferente a partir de ahora. ¿Cómo estos cambios nos afectan? ¿De qué manera la ley de nuevas tecnologías, disruptivas impactan en la justicia? Con el aumento del comercio transfronterizo y la integración económica, tales como el aumento de las demandas de los clientes y los cambios en los mercados laborales afectar al sector legal? ¿Cómo pueden las leyes y marcos jurídicos seguir siendo eficaz y relevante en un contexto de evolución de las expectativas del público y las normas sociales? ¿Qué pueden hacer los participantes en un vibrante sector legal Latinoamericano de incierto futuro? El evento es de obligada asistencia para quienes buscan desarrollar su carrera, construir sus perfiles aprendiendo de mujeres líderes, influyentes y de mayor trayectoria profesional global. Además de ampliar su red de contactos entre la generación de mujeres exitosas; crear conexiones directas y la internacionalización de sus empresas. Un foro presentado por el grupo de interés de mujeres de la FIA y FPB Legal, los organizadores han trabajado con un consejo asesor de primer nivel para desarrollar el programa, que cuenta con una serie de innovadores e inspiradores foros, actividad interactiva y premiación a destacadas abogadas del año.

SEMINAR “Safeguarding Human Rights while Countering Terrorism and Facing Mass Immigration in EU”

A major problem as in the recent years the measures adopted by states to counter terrorism have themselves often posed serious challenges to human rights and the rule of law, as well as the “mass immigration” that EU is facing.

IX Jornada de Justícia Penal Internacional i Universal

Prevenció i lluita contra delictes d’odi i totes les formes d’intolerància

Abusos del pasado, verdad, justicia, memoria


52a Conferencia FIA


Defence Office of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Dear Madam, Sir,

The Defence Office of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon thank you again for your participation in the Fourth International Meetings of Defence Offices which were held in London, on 25th and 26th of November 2016.

Please find attached the Summary report of the Meetings in French, English and Arabic. 

You will also find attached the questionnaire on Defence Investigations, which we thank you for completing in the language of your choice, and sending back to us, if you have not already done so. As Johann said during the Meetings,your answers will be very useful in that they will illustrate the Guide to Investigations with concrete examples from you experience.

Thank you again for your participation and we hope to see you again in Nuremberg for the Fifth Meetings in 2017.

Kind regards,