Unione delle Camere Penali Italiane | Italian criminal lawyers association UCPI

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What we do

“Governments shall ensure that lawyers are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference”

Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers” n. 16

(United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, Havana, September 1990)

Lawyers and defense rights have constantly been under threat. On numerous occasions, basic fundamental rights have been -- and are -- violated. Therefore, lawyers, who represent key players in defending these rights, are seriously put at risk.

Many famous cases can be mentioned in order to give an idea of the magnitude of the phenomenon, in time and space. Michael Siegel, a Jewish lawyer who was beaten and humiliated by the Nazi police; the “Chinese barefoot lawyer”, to the 2015 -- still unsolved -- murder of the Turkish lawyer Tahir Elçi, President of the Diyarbakır Bar Association.

These are just a few examples. This is the reason why, in light of international mobilizations and pressure by the legal professionals community, the Italian criminal lawyers have decided to stand united on this critically important issue.

The project started in 2015, and was later officially presented in 2016, to the Italian Criminal Lawyers Association (Unione Camere Penali Italiane or UCPI).

The initiative is now a project by the Italian association of criminal lawyers Unione delle Camere Penali Italiane and is coordinated by Nicola Canestrini and Ezio Menzione, part of the working groups, respectively, on European Criminal Law and Relationship with International Lawyers of the same Unione Camere Penali Italiane; contact person for communication/organization matters is Ms. Giorgia Cigalla.


What’s next?

The idea is to establish a strong network of lawyers, first at the national, and then the international level. Constant research and monitoring on cases around the world have to be fostered, and efforts should converge in mobilizations and solidarity with endangered colleagues.



“Lawyers shall not be identified with their clients or their clients' causes as a result of discharging their functions.”

Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers” n. 18

(United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, Havana, September 1990)




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