Fighting for the safety of legal professionals in Afghanistan

We're gravely concerned about the situation in Afghanistan, and particularly the perilous future faced by those that work in the justice system. We’re doing everything we can to stand alongside our fellow lawyers by supporting efforts that will lead to their safe evacuation and sanctuary.

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The rule of law is the bedrock of any functioning society. It’s essential that all those that work to safeguard fundamental freedoms – lawyers, judges and all those working in the justice system – can live and carry out their professional duties independently, without fear of intimidation or threats to their safety.

As the situation in Afghanistan continues to evolve, we have:

  • stressed at the highest levels of the UK government the perilous situation faced by legal professionals in the country; we’re especially concerned for the safety of 270 women judges and 170 women lawyers and prosecutors
  • called on the UK government to ensure that lawyers, judges and those that have worked to safeguard the rule of law are included in the resettlement scheme or Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) and the government has responded positively – given the critical situation on the ground, we’ve urged the government to act fast and process applications expeditiously
  • supported efforts to immediately evacuate women judges and prosecutors, by sharing information and details with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
  • urged a rethinking of the travel and entry requirements for Afghan citizens seeking safety in the UK

We continue to be in contact with, and work alongside, a wide range of interested parties to promote the safety of legal professionals in Afghanistan. This includes UK government and parliament, the United Nations, the bars of the G7, and various non-governmental organisations.

We’ll continue to monitor this rapidly changing situation, providing recommendations to the government based on the expertise and information from members and the wider international legal community.

Stay up to date

You can stay up to date with the actions we’re taking to fight for the safety of legal professionals in Afghanistan on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Find out more 

Read our joint statements: 

  • with the G7 bar leaders, urging governments to protect those at risk in Afghanistan, including women judges and lawyers
  • for the UN Human Rights Council, requesting an international fact-finding mechanism to support prosecution of human rights violations, together with Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada and the International Bar Association

If you're a solicitor, find out how you can provide pro bono advice to Afghan citizens seeking asylum. DLA Piper has shared guidelines for immigration lawyers wishing to offer pro bono advice to Afghan applicants.

If you're a member of the public with relatives in Afghanistan, you can find a solicitor specialising in immigration and asylum to provide legal advice. You can also discover how you can access free legal advice if you need it.

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