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January 24, 2023

Statement of ABA President Deborah Enix-Ross Re: International Day of the Endangered Lawyer

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2023 — On this International Day of the Endangered Lawyer, the American Bar Association recognizes the bravery displayed by lawyers and other legal professionals around the world in protecting the rule of law.

This year’s recognition focuses on endangered lawyers in Afghanistan, where judges, lawyers and their clients face life-threatening conditions.  Establishing and maintaining a just rule of law is essential for all Afghans, and legal professionals are indispensable to that effort. The ABA would also like to honor the courageous lawyers, judges, and prosecutors in many other countries including but not limited to Ukraine, Belarus, Iraq, Russia, and Guatemala.

The U.N. Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers call on governments to ensure that lawyers can fulfill their professional responsibilities without improper interference and are adequately protected when their security is threatened. The ABA urges all governments and stakeholders to protect and support the legal professionals who work, often at great personal cost, to defend the rule of law, protect human rights, and advocate for basic freedoms.

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.