UIA Press Release - Motion in support of the Tunisian Bar

Press Release for immediate release

Paris, February 1, 2011


The Union Internationale des Avocats

adopts a motion in support of the Tunisian Bar


Meeting in Antwerp (Belgium) on January 29, the UIA Governing Board adopted a motion in support of the Tunisian Bar.


In the support motion, the UIA expressed its satisfaction with the "Jasmine Revolution" that has brought hope and new prospects for the Tunisian people and with the fundamental and vital role played by the Tunisian Bar in these developments. It would like to extend its support and acknowledgement to the latter, while encouraging it to continue to stand in defence of freedoms.


In fact, in this extraordinary situation in Tunisia's History, its national Bar, under the leadership of its President Abderrazak Kilani, has marked "the role Bars must play in a democracy, watchful of the defence of citizens' rights and intractable in the face of excessive encroachment by political authorities that disregard individual rights and the freedom of expression, using authoritarian and inquisitorial methods to snuff out all opposition".


To this end, the UIA invites the Bar to provide support in the course of Tunisia's evolution into a democratic and pluralist society, respectful of internationally recognized principles of law, without any partisan political considerations.


Over the preceding years, the UIA has constantly been concerned about the attacks on the right to practice of the Tunisian Bar and has intervened several times with the Tunisian authorities, calling upon them to respect lawyers' rights.


On January 6, 2011, following an alert from the Bar, the UIA had sent a letter to Tunisia's Head of State on the subject of the violence being meted out to lawyers, asking him to ensure that their right to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference was respected (Principle 16 of the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers).


About the Union Internationale des Avocats

The Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA) was created in 1927 and is the oldest professional association, with several thousand individual members, as well as more than 200 bar associations, organisations or federations (representing nearly two million lawyers) from over 110 countries.

The objectives of the UIA are to promote the basic principles of the legal profession, to contribute to the establishment of an international legal order based on the principles of human rights and justice among nations, through the law and for the cause of peace, and to defend the moral and material interests of members of the legal profession.


Press Contact: Marie-Pierre Liénard

Communication & Website officer