Lawyers' International Observatory

Act in favour of the lawyers throughout the world 


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Everyday, throughout the world, lawyers are put in jail, tortured, assassinated, suffer pressures, threats and forced disparitions because of their professional occupation. Lawyers who are Human Rights defenders are all the more exposed to this kind of retaliation because their are assimilated to the sensitive causes they defend. 

The Lawyers' International Observatory is a mechanism to protect and defend the lawyers who are threatened because of their activities of Human Rights defense. Created in 2008, under the initiative of Avocats Sans Frontières France, it was carried out until november 2011 by a consortium including the National Bars' Council, the Order of Paris' Lawyers, the Consejo General de la Abogacia española, and the Consiglio Nazionale Forense, with the financial support of the European Union. 



OIA 1OIA2's aims are: 

  • To report the number of lawyers suffering threats, pressures, tortures, disparitions and other damages of their physical and moral integrity;  
  • To provide justice, moral and material assistance to threatened lawyers. 




OIA 1OIA2monitors the situation of lawyers throughout the world and reporting the cases of threatened lawyers. Requests can come from: 

  • Lawyers themselves;
  • Relatives of lawyers who are deceased, detained, or for other reasons of inability;
  • The Profession, i.e. the Bars, and Orders, and any other gathering of professionals working on the issue of legal counseling ; 
  • Local and international NGOs; 
  • Public institutions such as international/ regional organisations, ministries, diplomaticcorps, and other national and international authorities. 


emergency defence

  • Alerts messages send to alarm the national and international authorities about the situations of lawyers; 
  • Organisation of emergency defense mission for the lawyers who are tried in their country;  de missions de défense d’urgence pour les avocats poursuivis dans leur pays ;
  • Financial support for lawyers who have no revenues because they were revocked from the Bar. 
  • Appeal to UN relevant mechanism (Special Reporters, Work groups, ...).


other actions

  • Emergency defence training ;
  • Release of an annual report on the cases followed by the International Observatory of Lawyers 




  • 42 cases of threatened lawyers followed throughout the world ;  
  • 16 emergency defense missionsto protect and assist threatened lawyers ; 
  • 45.000 euros of financial and material support.


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