January 24, 2019

Statement of ABA President Bob Carlson marking the 2019 International Day of the Endangered Lawyer

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2019 — The American Bar Association marks the 2019 International Day of the Endangered Lawyer. Now in its ninth year, the day pays tribute to legal professionals worldwide who dedicate themselves to ensuring that governments honor human rights obligations and commitments.

Lawyers, prosecutors, judges and human rights defenders around the globe often confront grave risks because of their jobs.

Fundamental precepts and norms of international law reflect the unique status of lawyers, prosecutors, human rights defenders and judges, and afford them special protections.

For example, the U.N. Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers calls for ensuring that lawyers can fulfill their professional responsibilities without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or threatened security. The U.N. Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors provides for comparable protections for prosecutors. Similarly, the U.N. Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary underscores the importance of appropriate measures to ensure the safety and security of judges and to protect them from threats. In addition, the U.N. Declaration on Human Rights Defenders establishes the right of defenders to offer legal assistance or other relevant advice in defense of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and further provides that states ensure an environment where defenders can do their work without fear of retribution.

As we recognize the International Day of the Endangered Lawyer, the American Bar Association reaffirms its support for the inspiring lawyers, prosecutors, judges and human rights defenders who embody the highest ideals of our profession and breathe life into the rule of law every day.

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.