Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers

The United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers constitute the most authoritative set of international norms on the position of lawyers. Such principles prove of utmost importance, since examples of lawyers being threatened, imprisoned and even murdered for executing the legal profession are still ubiquitous worldwide.

In 1990, the Basic Principles were adopted by the Eight United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders in Havana, Cuba. Access to justice and fair trial were then - and are still - the basis of these principles.

In anticipation of the 25th anniversary of the Basic Principles in September 2015 we seek to increase the acquaintance of lawyers with the Basic Principles, and thereby further strengthen their position in international law. Therefore, we invite you to take notice of the Basic Principles on this website and invoke them when necessary. Further information on the Basic Principles are published on the website of the Netherlands based Lawyers for Lawyers foundation. In this database you can find articles, publications and case law of UN treaty bodies, regional courts, and other international bodies.

Download here the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers