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Letter from the Paris Bar association in support of Iranian lawyers

(May 8, 2013) – As part of a campaign to support Iran’s independent legal profession in calling for the cancellation of the “Bill of Formal Attorneyship”, a bill that in essence transfers total supervisory control over lawyers to a quasi-judicial body, the Paris Bar association has sent a letter to Iranian authorities expressing its concerns over the proposed Bill.  The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) has now been permitted to publicize the letter, dated March 4, 2013, in full. 

The letter notes that the new Bill “runs counter to international instruments and Iran’s obligations under international law.”  It further cautions that if the Bill is passed Iran’s lawyers “will not be capable of effectively defending their clients’ rights.”  In conclusion it urges the Iranian authorities to “withdraw the Bill as soon as possible and respect the international standards regarding the independence of the Bar and safeguarding the right to defen[s]e and guaranteeing fair trial.” 

The letter of the Paris Bar association joins other global statements of support for Iran’s independent legal profession, including a statement from the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, issued on March 26, 2013, urging “Iran’s government to withdraw a proposed bill to effectively bring the Iranian Bar Association under the control of the judiciary” and noting that the Bill removes “any remaining independence afforded to the legal profession.” 

The full contents of the letter of the Paris Bar association appears below.  To read the Farsi translation of the letter, click here.

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