The Alliance for Lawyers at Risk is an independent UK-based pro-bono network, founded in 2010, that provides moral and legal support to lawyers and human rights defenders working in precarious circumstances. The Alliance supports the work of PBI and other organisations.
The Alliance was founded in 2010 by Peace Brigades International UK patron, the late Sir Henry Brooke, and has since then been collaborating closely with PBI in providing legal expertise to the human rights defenders PBI accompanies.
For any enquiries, please email President of the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk: Sir Patrick Elias - email@example.com
Alliance action documentation
In February, PBI UK and the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk organised a delegation to Kenya to discuss the needs of grassroots human rights defenders. Read alliance member Julia Lowis' account of the trip here.In February the ALR endorsed a joint public letter led by Lawyers without Borders Canada which highlighted concerns around judicial cases involving the Uribe family in Colombia. The Alliance supports a joint civil society platform providing observation to the ongoing trials.
Throughout June and July the ALR together with PBI UK organised a series of 6 webinars on different themes including women’s rights during COVID-19, Human Rights in Latin America and the Legal Community and Human Rights.
Jan, Alliance wrote a letter to the UK embassy in Nepal requesting that they invite Nepalese human rights lawyer Badri Bhusal to a meeting to discuss his situation. Badri was subsequently contacted and invited to a meeting.
Feb, Alliance wrote a letter of concern to Minister Sir Alan Duncan about the disappearance of Mexican HRD Obtilia Eugenio. On the 16th of February Obtilia was released safely. The pressure from the international community was crucial in securing her freedom. Sir Alan Duncan sent a letter in response on the 18th of March.
Feb, Alliance wrote to the newly appointed president of Mexico congratulating him on his taking office and drawing his attention to the serious international concern regarding the protection of human rights defenders within Mexico.
Mar, Alliance wrote a letter to Guatemalan Ambassador in the UK regarding criminalisation of HRDs.
Mar, Julia Lowis (3 Hare Court) published an article on the 12 Apostles Case and Colombian Lawyer at Risk Daniel Prado. Article in the Bar Council Guest blog.
April and May, The Alliance supported observation of the 12 Apostles case where Colombia lawyer Daniel Prado had received threats. Kirsty Brimelow and the Colombia Caravana we present at the trial with support from the Alliance.
Jun, The Alliance wrote to the Ambassador for Guatemala in the United Kingdom, Acisclo Valladares Molina expressing concern about threats against members of the indigenous organisation Ch’orti Nuevo Dia.
Jun, Alliance wrote a letter of concern for the safety of Nepalese lawyer Badri Bhusal following threats he has faced.
Jun, the Alliance signed a joint letter to the Times in the context of the UK visit of Colombian President Ivan Duque highlighting the need for greater protection of lawyers at risk.
Jun, Alliance members met with Colombian Human Rights Lawyers Danilo Rueda to discuss threats he faces in his country.
Oct, Alliance signed a joint letter from OIDHACO related to threats against lawyers working for Colombian NGO FSCPP.
Oct, Alliance wrote a letter to Honduran president raising concerns about amendments to the criminal code. Critics have indicated that these reforms to the Criminal Code threaten freedom of expression and the press.
Oct, Monica Feria-Tinta, Christin Chinkin, Kirsty Brimelow, met with visiting Mexican Human Rights Lawyer Maricela Vazquez and discussed various ways in which the ALR could provide support.
Nov, Sir Peter Roth, Sir Patrick Elias, Richard Hermer and Monica Feria-Tinta met with Honduran Human Rights Lawyer Donald Hernandez.
Nov, Alliance sent a letter to the Colombian president highlighting the dangers of public stigmatization of lawyers.
Nov, The Alliance co-hosted the Sir Henry Brooke Awards 2019, which was attended by over 150 people including high profile guests from the UK legal community.
Dec, The Alliance supported the third observation of the 12 Apostles case where Colombia lawyer Daniel Prado had received threats. Kirsty Brimelow and the Colombia Caravana we present at the trial with support from the Alliance.
Dec, Alliance members met with grassroot Kenyan HRDs Samuel Kiriro and Rahma Wako who are part of a project that documents extrajudicial killings by the police in the slums of Nairobi.
Jan, Alliance for Lawyers at Risk wrote a letter to the Kenyan president expressing concern at the harassment of human rights defenders.
Mar, The Alliance wrote a letter to Mexican Ambassador in the UK on the case of criminalised human rights lawyers and human rights defenders in Mexico.
Apr, Members of the ALR nominated PBI for the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence.
Jun, Monica Feria Tinta (20 Essex St) submitted an Amicus Curiae to the Constitutional Court in Colombia on the Peace Process and Transitional Justice.
Jul, The Alliance launched their new Website: http://www.lawyersatrisk.org/
Aug, Alliance for Lawyers at Risk wrote a letter to Colombian President Ivan Duque welcoming him to his new position and urging him to uphold the Rule of Law and protect lawyers at risk.
Oct, Alliance members met with Nepali lawyer Badri Bhusal to discuss Rule of Law and Sexual violence in Nepal.
Nov, Alliance for Lawyers at Risk sent a Letter to the Colombian Constitutional Court in support of the Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado.
Nov, The Alliance held the first annual Sir Henry Brooke Awards for Human Rights Defenders. The awards were presented by Lady Arden DBE, at a packed event at the Supreme Court.
Nov, Alliance members met with Colombian Lawyer Daniel Prado.
Dec, The Alliance sent a letter to the UK ambassador in Nepal about the situation of risk for lawyers in the country.
Dec, Bar Human Rights Committee, Faculty of Advocates, Colombia Caravana and the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk conducted observation of the trial of 12 Apostles case in Colombia.
Apr, Members of the Alliance Courtenay Barklem and Kirsty Brimelow QC met with Nepali Lawyer Dipendra Jha. Courtenay wrote a report on the human rights situation in the Terai and submitted it to the Law Society Human Rights Committee.
Jul, Members of the Alliance met with Colombian lawyers from the CCAJAR collective to explore a project with the ALR on monitoring of the implementation of the Colombian peace agreement.
Jul, Alliance for Lawyers at Risk signed a letter on impunity and rule of law in Colombia specifically requesting support for Rommel Duran, Equipo Jurídico Pueblos, on the subject of the implementation of his protective measures.
Jul, Alliance members Sir Peter Roth, Monica Feria Tinta and Kirsty Brimelow QC met with Colombian Lawyer Olga Silva.
Oct, Alliance for Lawyers at Risk wrote a letter to the UK High Commissioner urging the UK to raise questions of rule of law post elections with the Kenyan government.
Oct, Alliance for Lawyers at Risk members Sir Peter Roth, Kirsty Brimelow QC, and Sir Patrick Elias met with Mexican lawyer Marcos Leyva and HRD Rosalinda Diosnicio.
Oct, Re-launch of the ALR. High-level event with over 50 legal professionals from the UK.
Dec, Members of the ALR met with Nepali lawyer Dipendra Jha. Bar Human Rights Committee wrote a letter of intervention to Nepal on the need to publish report findings.
Mar, Law Society training on International human rights law for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Apr, Meeting with the Law Society team in the context of the speaker tour of Donald Hernandez and Jehovany Cruz, Honduras.
Apr, Colombia Caravana roundtable on land and environmental rights defenders.
May, Meeting with PBI UK and Law Society.
Jun, Event at the Law Society comparing transitional justice in Nepal (Mandira Sharma) and Colombia (Jorge Molano).
Jun, Roundtable meeting on Colombia specifically on the situation of the San Jose de Apartado case by visiting Colombian lawyer Jorge Molano.
Jun, Article in the solicitors Journal about impunity in Colombia based on interview with Colombian lawyer Jorge Molano.
Jun, Bar Human Rights Committee, Film screening of Burden of Peace and Q&A with Guatemalan HRD Omar Jeronimo.
Nov, Members of the Alliance ALR Sue Willman, Kirsty Brimelow QC met with Colombian human rights lawyer Luis Guillermo Perez.
Feb, Members of the Alliance participate in a roundtable on the situation for land rights defenders in Colombia with a focus on the Pitalito community.
Feb, Sir Peter Roth and Kirsty Brimelow QC Speak at the House of Lords in support for the San José Peace Community.
Feb, Lawyers from the alliance wrote a comment in Counsel Magazine on the Rios Montt Trial, Guatemala.
May, BHRC and Garden Court hosted a roundtable on Guatemala Indigenous & ESC rights defenders with a focus on the situation of communities in San Juan Sacatepéquez.
Jun, Members of the Alliance write a letter to the Colombian Embassy requesting for full implementation of IACHR protection measures.
Jun, Sir Henry Brooke held a meeting with minister of state Hugo Swire on the human rights situation in Colombia and Guatemala.
Jun, Members of the Alliance participate in a scoping mission to Nepal exploring possibilities of training for HRDs and Judiciary.
Oct, Roundtable at Matrix Chambers on Colombia, the situation of land restitution and prosecution of illegal business occupants in Curvaradó.
Nov, BHRC roundtable on Honduras on the situation of indigenous and campesino communities resisting mining and hydroelectric projects.
Dec, Mark Cunningham, Tony Fisher and Lord Scott participate in a delegation to Kenya carrying out meetings with the Judiciary on Rule of Law issues.
13 June: 37 members of the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk sign a letter to the editor of the Times Newspaper about attacks on Colombian lawyers. The publication of the letter coincides with the visit to the UK of President Santos of Colombia.
9 May: Letter from the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk to the Prime Minister of Nepal, expressing concern about threats received by lawyer Mandira Sharma.
26 April: Letter from SIHRG and BHRC to the President of the Constitutional Court of Guatemala, expressing concern about moves to annul the trial for genocide of Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt.
8 April: Statement from the BHRC expressing concern about the murder of another lawyer in Colombia.
March: Joint submission of the Law Society, Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L) and Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the occasion of Mexico's Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
26 March: Letter from the Law Society to the Prime Minister of Nepal expressing concern about death threats and violence against Mandira Sharma.
12 March: Letter from BHRC to the Prime Minister of Nepal expressing concern about threats and incitement to violence against Mandira Sharma, founder of Advocacy Forum.
4 January: Letter from SIHRG to the Attorney General of Colombia on the conviction of human rights defender David Ravelo Crespo.
7 January: Amicus curiae submitted to the Criminal Chambers of the Supreme Court of Colombia in the case of the 2005 massacre at the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó.
17 January: Letter from SIHRG to the president of the Consitutional Court of Guatemala regarding the appeal for protection (amparo) lodged by Héctor Mario López Fuentes, one of the accused in the Maya Ixil genocide case.
7 June: Letter from SIHRG to Mexican president Felipe Calderón on the need for immediate protection of human rights defenders in Oaxaca
21 April: Letter from SIHRG, IBA and BHRC to UN High Commissioner on Human Rights on protection for journalists and human rights defenders in Mexico
The Ruggie principles: a remedy for Colombian communities facing the environmental and human rights impact of multinationals? Report on the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk mission to Colombia in 2012
BHRC: Adendum (2012) to Recalling the Rule of Law, report of the 2009 lawyers' delegation to Mexico
PBI submission to Conservative Party Human Rights Commission on the situation of human rights lawyers and other human rights defenders in the countries where PBI works. Download (pdf 576 kb)
Colombia: The Legal Profession Still Under Attack (report of the 2010 delegation of the International Caravana of Jurists)
Video and audio
2015 - FCO Video: Magna Carta and the rule of law
In this video, former High Court judges Lord Scott of Foscote and Sir Henry Brooke, and human rights lawyer Mandira Sharma talk about the significance of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta for the rule of law, democracy and human rights around the world.
2011- Conference: Mexico and the Inter-American Court - video
Held on 7 June 2011 at Senate House, University of London.
Panel 1 - Mexico and Compliance with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Chair: Dr Par Engstrom, Human Rights Consortium
Speakers: Santiago Aguirre, Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre, Mexico City
Valentina Rosendo Cantú, Mexican Human Rights Defender
Matthew Phillips, FCO Central America and Mexico Team
Dr Peter Watt, University of Sheffield
Panel 2 - The Situation of Mexican Human Rights Defenders and Lessons Learned from the European Court of Human Rights
Chair: Sir Henry Brooke
Speakers: Courtenay Barklem, Law Society
Juan Carlos Gutierrez, Mexican Human Rights Commission
Lisa Maracani, Peace Brigades International Mexico project
Rupert Knox, Amnesty International
Download a conference briefing.
Audio podcasts of the panels are also available here.
Bearers of Hope: Risks and challenges for human rights lawyers in Colombia
Human rights lawyers dedicate their lives to representing victims in cases of forced disappearances, extrajudicial executions and massacres. But working on emblematic cases comes with a very high price. In Colombia, where 90% of human rights violations remain in impunity, stigmatisation, threats and persecution are part of the daily pressures these lawyers must face. In this video, some of the lawyers accompanied by PBI speak about the risks they face and what motivates them to continue their work representing victims of human rights violations.