On Thursday 16th April PBI and the "Alliance for Lawyers at Risk" network celebrated the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta with a private viewing of “Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy” exhibition at the British Library.

Guests included members of PBI’s Alliance for Lawyers at Risk and other PBI supporters and they were treated to speeches by Lord Scott of Foscott (PBI patron), Frederick Mulder CBE, Julian Harrison (exhibition Curator) and Mandira Sharma (Nepalese lawyer who has received support from PBI) before they viewed the exhibition.

Click here to see the Magna Carta event programme containing information about the exhibition, the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk and the speakers; including Napalese human rights defender Mandira Sharma.

The evening was hosted by PBI patron Sir Henry Brooke CMG and the aim was to raise funds to support the work of lawyers and other human rights defenders accompanied by PBI.


The Magna Carta Challenge

This exhibition and private viewing was provided by Linklaters LLP and a generous trust offered PBI a 'match funding' opportunity to help support the protection of lawyers and other defenders of the rule of law. This means that if we are able to raise up to £20,000 from other donors and PBI supporters by 31 May this trust will match the funds!

Continuing the protection of lawyers at risk

As we celebrate the 800 year anniversary of Magna Carta, PBI has decided to dedicate this match funding appeal toward supporting the work of lawyers and other human rights defenders around the world who risk their lives by upholding the principles enshrined in the Magna Carta. Funds will also contribute towards the activities of the “Alliance for Lawyers at Risk” pro bono network to help build the capacity and increase the protection of lawyers under threat.

How can I donate?

To donate toward this match funding appeal and ensure that lawyers and other human rights defenders can continue their vital work in safety please donate at https://www.justgiving.com/PBI-Match-Funding-2015-Appealection by 31 May.

Alternatively, you can send a cheque made out to “PBI UK Section” to 1B Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ and include a reference to the matching appeal so we know that is the purpose of the donation.

Defenders of the rule of law

The event was held to celebrate the anniversary and to honour defenders of the rule of law who are at risk for their work to uphold the principles embedded in the Magna Carta. Guests learned about the courageous work of Mandira Sharma, co- founder of Advocacy Forum in Nepal, who provided testimony about her fight against impunity in Nepal.

She has been the subject of defamation, threats and intimidation and she and her team have been facing additional security threats related to the arrest of Kumar Lama in the UK in January 2013. Due to her fragile security situation, Mandira has received support from PBI and the “Alliance for Lawyers at Risk”.

Thank you!

PBI is grateful to all those who came to the event and to the sponsors of the event which include Linklaters LLP which offered the exhibition and private viewing, as well as Blackstone Chambers, Hart Publishing, Leigh Day, the Law Society and Doughty Street Chambers.

For more information about the vital need for UK lawyers to support defenders of the rule of law whose safety and work is under threat please read this article in the Times which was written by longstanding PBI supporter and barrister Mark Cunningham QC of Maitland Chambers:

To donate toward this match funding appeal and ensure that lawyers and other human rights defenders can continue their vital work in safety please donate at https://www.justgiving.com/PBI-Match-Funding-2015-Appealection by 31 May.

Alternatively, you can send a cheque made out to “PBI UK Section” to 1B Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ and include a reference to the matching appeal so we know that is the purpose of the donation.

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