Dorian Lovell-Pank QC (BHRC), Phil Haywood (BHRC), Kirsty Brimelow (BHRC), Alirio Uribe (CCAJAR), Jacqueline Macalesher (BHRC), Lucia Obregon (Translator), Sudhanshu Swaroop (BHRC) and David Feller (CCAJAR).

In September 2009, the BHRC led  a delegation of human rights lawyers to Colombia to take part in a training seminar on international human rights law.

The members of the delegation included:

Kirsty Brimelow (BHRC Vice-Chair, Doughty Street)
Sudhanshu Swaroop (BHRC Executive Committee Member, 20 Essex Street)
Dorian Lovell-Pank QC (6 King’s Bench Walk)
Phil Haywood (Doughty Street)
Ajanta Kaza (1 Pump Court)
Jacqueline Macalesher (BHRC Project Coordinator)
The training was held over three days (2-4 September 2009) at the Universidad Autonoma, Bogotá, Colombia, and was held in conjunction with the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective (CCAJAR) and the Association of Colombian Human Rights Defenders (ACADEUM), both based in Bogotá, Colombia.

Around 50 participants took part in the human rights law training seminar, including local lawyers, academics, judges, trade unionists, journalists and NGO leaders. The training focused on subjects such as the rule of law; access to justice; extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances; impunity; indigenous people and minority rights; freedom of assembly and expression; and international and regional enforcement mechanisms.

On a fundamental level, the delegation provided international support to those under constant threat because of their legitimate work.

One of the main outputs of the project was the production of a handbook for Colombian lawyers. The 50 page handbook, printed in both English and Spanish, sets out the key human rights standards as established in international systems and frameworks.

To access the manual please go to Human Rights Training Manual for Colombian Lawyers [English]

In addition to the training seminar, the Bar Human Rights Committee also took part in a public forum on ‘Human Rights and Judicial Independence as Democratic Values’ at the Universidad Autonoma, Bogotá. Over 350 participants attended the public forum, and presentations were made by Kirsty Brimelow (BHRC Vice-Chair), as well as academics, local lawyers and a Magistrate from the Supreme Court of Justice.

The Bar Human Rights Committee intends to continue its work in solidarity with the local lawyers in Colombia.

Read the full report here