AED/EDL would like to proclaim its support for our colleagues, the Spanish lawyers Gonzalo Boye and Isabel Elbal, concerning the suspicious attacks they have suffered in their offices, which have been burglarized twice in 9 months, stating the following:
1.- First and foremost, we must recall that lawyers should not be identified with their clients, or with the causes they defend, since such confusion is detrimental to the independence and dignity of lawyers and the whole legal profession, and ultimately affects the right of defense itself as a fundamental right.
This circumstance was already acknowledged in The Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, approved at the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders, held in Havana (Cuba), from the 27th of August to the 7th of September 1990, which establishes in its guarantee n° 18 that “Lawyers will not be identified with their clients or with the causes of their clients as a consequence of the performance of their duties”. Furthermore Resolution 26/7 (10th july 2014) of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC- A/HRC/RES/26/7) (2) provides in its point n° 104 that “It must be prohibited to assimilate lawyers and their clients or their causes and to express anticipation for the adoption of measures aimed at preventing such assimilation“.
2.- Regardless of the foregoing, we express our most outright rejection of all the intimidating, threatening or humiliating messages that lawyers have been receiving in recent times due to their practice of the legal profession, and specifically in the case of our colleagues because of their work as defense lawyers of clients linked to the so-called Catalonian “procés”. Likewise, we strongly reject such illegitimate attacks, and show our solidarity and support to the recipients.
3.- We reiterate the need for legal professionals, and specifically lawyers, to be able to develop their constitutional function with the most absolute freedom and autonomy, without which, it is impossible to speak of the rule of law and of the existence of fair trials without discrimination.
Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Rome, Berlin, Brussels, Amsterdam
3rd of October 2020