Iran urged to take rule of law opportunity

3 October 2018

The Bar Council of England & Wales is urging President Hassan Rouhani of Iran to send a clear message to the world that the republic is committed to the rule of law. The call comes following the arrest of more lawyers in Iran over the last two months, including two human rights lawyers, Qassem Sholeh Sadi and Arash Kaykhosravi.

Chair of the Bar, Andrew Walker QC, said: "The Iranian authorities' continued policy of arresting lawyers in Iran simply for representing their clients is unconstitutional. Iranian citizens have the right to a fair trial under the republic's constitution, and that is put in jeopardy if Iranian lawyers cannot be independent and treated as such in facilitating that right, especially where those lawyers face personal threats against them at the hands of the state.  

"With global attention currently so focused on Iran, President Hassan Rouhani - himself a lawyer - has an opportunity to demonstrate to the UN and the world Iran's commitment to the rule of law. 

"No lawyer, in any jurisdiction, should fear arrest for doing their job. The Bar Council urges the Iranian government to release those lawyers who have been arrested for carrying out their professional duties and to revoke policies and laws which run contrary to the concept of an independent legal profession." 

Ends

 

Notes to Editors: 

Further information is available from the Bar Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525 and Press@BarCouncil.org.uk.  

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.