Bar Council response to mass arrest of judges in Turkey

18 July 2016

Responding to reports of thousands of judges being arrested in Turkey, Chairman of the Bar of England & Wales, Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC, said:

"Today, I have met in London with the leaders of the Four Bars in the four jurisdictions of the United Kingdom and Ireland. We have read with grave concern reports of a substantial number of arrests of the Turkish judiciary over the weekend and are concerned about the possible implications of these developments for the Rule of Law in Turkey. We are reviewing the situation carefully and have reached out to other European Bar leaders to establish more information before determining our next response. 

"This is not the first time this Turkish government has struck at the core of fundamental civil and democratic values. In March, nine human rights lawyers, known for their work in representing minority groups and people accused of terrorism and crimes against the state, were arrested in police raids on their homes. 

"The judiciary and legal profession in any jurisdiction should not and cannot fulfil their duties under the threat of arrest." 

ENDS

Notes to Editors 

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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