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January 22, 2021

Statement of ABA President Patricia Lee Refo Re: International Day of the Endangered Lawyer

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22, 2021 – Sunday is the International Day of the Endangered Lawyer, recognizing legal professionals who work to advance the rule of law and promote human rights under governmental harassment and intimidation. The American Bar Association honors our colleagues who do this work despite the dangers.  

The international legal community continues to witness the hardships imposed on the brave legal professionals who stand up to uphold justice and the rule of law in many parts of the world including Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. Too many lawyers continue to endure surveillance, harassment, threats, intimidation, kidnapping, professional discipline, and criminal prosecution for practicing their profession in accordance with the U.N. Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers. 

The ABA therefore renews its call upon all governments to respect the role of lawyers, to adhere to the U.N. Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary, and to follow the U.N. Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors. The ABA also reaffirms its commitment to help advance the rule of law and the cause of justice around the world. 

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers 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 and on Twitter @ABANews.