ISLP provides pro bono legal assistance to governments and civil society organizations in developing countries, leveraging global legal resources in alignment with client needs to support just, accountable and inclusive development.
ISLP's Albania project experts welcome new British Embassy Tirana's new Head of Programmes
ISLP Colombia Murder Trial Observation Report Calls for Protection of Witnesses and Human Rights Defenders
ISLP recently observed a court hearing in which human rights defender and lawyer, Yessika Hoyos Morales, gave testimony in the trial of the man accused of ordering the killing of her own father. ISLP’s criminal law expert, Jacqueline Vallejo, acted as trial observer at this sensitive hearing. She also met in person with Colombian authorities concerning the trial and to seek assurances that harassment endured by Ms Hoyos (that has intensified with the progress of her work on this and other cases) would be properly investigated.
The report on the mission published below draws several important conclusions about the trial and related meetings. These conclusions include striking observations about the lack of sufficient measures to ensure that witnesses can give evidence free from fear and intimidation and a call to improve those measures. Another fundamental issue highlighted by the report is the vital importance of tackling delays in the court system that can effectively undermine examinations of human rights complaints.
Please read the full report here: Trial Observation Report.
ISLP's Director for Sustainable Development moderates session on Natural Resource-based Development
Katerina Drisi, ISLP’s Director for Sustainable Development, attended the Seventh Plenary Meeting of the Policy Dialogue on Natural-Resource-based Development, organized by the OECD Development Centre and G7 CONNEX Initiative in Paris, to moderate a session on the Terms of Reference Template for Recruiting External Advisers.
As part of the OECD Strategy on Development adopted in May 2012, the Policy Dialogue offers an intergovernmental platform for peer learning and knowledge sharing where OECD and non-OECD producing countries, in consultation with extractive industries, civil society organisations and think tanks, can craft innovative and collaborative solutions for resource-based development. The Policy Dialogue also has relevance on international processes such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the G7 CONNEX Initiative, the G20 Development Working Group and the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group.
Session panelists included Mr. Nava Touré, Adviser to the Guinean Minister of Mines and Geology, Ms. Susan Maples, attorney at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle, and Mr. Boris Dolgonos, partner at Jones Day and ISLP Board Director.
During the session the panelists discussed criteria that make an external advisor valuable to government including trust and effective collaboration with local counsel, as well as the difficulty of managing potential conflicts that arise as a result of responsibilities to the government client and commitment to a donor organization. Given the need to identify and engage external advisors regarding urgent matters, the panelists also discussed ways to simplify the procurement process for hiring these advisors, while reaffirming the importance of capacity building in the context of engagement with government.`
Please refer to the OECD for more information on the Policy Dialogue for Natural Resource-based Development.
ISLP and Bright Line Law Deliver Training Workshop for Albanian Judges and Prosecutors
In collaboration with ISLP, Jonathan Fisher QC, Lead Counsel, and Anita Clifford, Senior Associate, of The White Collar Crime Centre at Bright Line Law, travelled from London to Tirana to deliver a two-day training workshop at the Albanian Magistrates School for Albanian judges and prosecutors on the intersection of tax evasion and money laundering. Insights were shared about tackling tax evasion in the context of Albania’s black economy and the use of tax evasion as a predicate offence to money laundering. Over the course of two days, a dialogue was opened up about the line between tax efficiency and tax avoidance in practice, recent cases highlighting different approaches to prosecution and sentencing, and European Union and international developments in the response to tax evasion and money laundering..
Read the longer report, and more about ISLP’s work with Bright Line Law.
ISLP Lawyer Attends Trial of Murdered Trade Unionist in Colombia
ISLP has organized for an expert criminal lawyer to attend the trial of murdered trade unionist, Jorge Darío Hoyos Morales, as an independent observer. Mr Morales was assassinated in March 2001, allegedly by members of the Colombian military who are now standing trial for the crime.
Over the past 25 years, thousands of trade unionists have been murdered in Colombia, with human rights advocates and lawyers facing ever-increasing threats to their safety and security. In particular, ISLP-UK received reports of intimidation and harassment of Yessika Hoyos Morales, Mr Morales’ daughter, which have intensified in the lead up to her testimony at her father’s trial. Ms Morales is a human rights lawyer who also leads the trade union work of the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective (CCAJAR), a Bertha Justice Initiative partner organization.
In alignment with ISLP’s commitment to supporting the proper investigation of the harassment of human rights defenders and the protection of lawyers and others in that role, as well as the upholding of international fair trial standards, ISLP’s volunteer lawyer will also meet with relevant public authorities and civil society actors to raise concerns for the safety and security of Ms. Hoyos and others.
ISLP Hosts Thai Election Observers
ISLP hosted a roundtable event on Election Day with Suan Dusit Poll, a Thai polling organization that provides academic services in domestic survey research. The group were in New York at the end of a multi-city tour to observe polling sites and gain first-hand experience of the U.S. election process. The roundtable, led by Richard Winfield, head of ISLP’s Media Law Working Group, and Heather Eisenlord, ISLP’s Director for Inclusive Development, generated robust discussion on First Amendment guarantees of freedom of expression, limitations on those guarantees, such as libel laws, and the growing influence of social media on political discussions as well as the U.S. election in general.
Over the past 15 years, with support from law firms, foundations and government agencies, ISLP has mobilized hundreds of experienced lawyers to provide more than $100 million worth of pro bono legal assistance in support of just, accountable and inclusive development in more than 80 countries.