Bar Council resolves to support Zimbabwean lawyers and promote the independence of the judiciary

23 April 2013

The Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and Wales, has passed a resolution to support the right of lawyers in Zimbabwe to practise freely and fairly, and to promote the independence of the Zimbabwean Judiciary.

Maura McGowan QC,Chairman of the Bar, said:

"Upholding the Rule of Law is crucial to the proper functioning of a democratic state and an independent legal system. It is central to a fair and free society. We offer our full support to our colleagues in Zimbabwe who are forced to practise under severe restrictions to their professional freedom, and who live in fear of the consequences of performing their duties as lawyers.

"The Bar Council of England and Wales continues strongly to condemn the arrest and detention of the Zimbabwean lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, simply for acting on behalf of her client. It also deplores the subsequent charge of misconduct laid against the judge who granted her bail.

"We will not stand by and allow such a contravention of the Rule of Law, and we offer our full support to lawyers and judges in Zimbabwe who continue to fight for a fair and open justice system."

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. For further information, please contact the  Bar Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525 or Press@BarCouncil.org.uk.

2. The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It promotes:

  • The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services

  • Fair access to justice for all

  • The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, and

  • The development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad.

The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of the Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions through the independent Bar Standards Board.