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Press Releases

Clifford Chance, ISLP, GIIN Frame Legal Issues in the Fast-Growing Impact Investing Environment

April 30, 2015  New York, NY – Socially responsible investing– putting capital into funds, companies, or organizations where the goal is social and environmental impact as well as financial return–is striking a chord with many of today's investors. Given the actively developing landscape of impact investing, it was clear that investors and their legal counsel would benefit from a better understanding of various structural, tax, economic, and governance implications specific to this emerging practice. A legal team from Clifford Chance, supported by ISLP and its partner the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), has produced just such a legal roadmap, pouring months of research into an invaluable reference brief covering existing U.S. legislation and real-world fund structures. "As a firm, we strive each day to make positive, lasting impacts in communities across the world–especially those requiring additional focus and investment to widen access to justice, finance, and education," said Avrohom Gelber, a Clifford Chance partner in the New York office. "We hope the report we helped to draft with our friends at ISLP and GIIN will benefit a wide range of investors who believe, as we do, that impact investing in the 21st century will only grow in importance. "Impact Investing Private Equity Fund Industry: Legal Considerations", released today by GIIN, includes a range of highly relevant information for nonprofit and for-profit investors looking to align their values with their investments. It is available for free download here.

ISLP Begins Work on EU Media Law Reform Grant for NGOs from Russia, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan

November 12, 2014  New York, NY – The European Union has begun funding a €1.2 million media law training program initiated by ISLP in partnership with IREX Europe and including leading media law NGOs from Russia, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan. Beginning in late 2014 and running for two years, ISLP media law experts, serving pro bono, will provide training and technical assistance to 30 media lawyers from the three countries. ISLP volunteer trainers will also provide training in Strasbourg and Kiev to an additional 90 journalists and media NGOs. A major goal of the program is to greatly improve journalists’ access to justice in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The training will emphasize the Court’s Article 10 press freedom case law and ECHR rules, practice, and procedure. The program will also encourage and train NGOs to submit third party interventions (amici curiae briefs) in important press freedom cases. The project aims to address the crisis facing independent journalists, bloggers, and media entities in the former Soviet bloc. Prosecutions, censorship, repression, financial restrictions, and unreliable domestic courts combine to create a hostile legal environment and self-censorship within a media which is neither free nor independent. The ECHR, a court of last resort to vindicate press freedoms, represents an underused resource. The project will produce the filing of more meritorious press freedom appeals in the ECHR, supported by media NGOs as intervenors, on behalf of journalists represented by trained, competent counsel.

ISLP Report Finds that Humanitarian Exemptions to Iran Sanctions Are Only Partially Effective in Facilitating Humanitarian Trade

October 29, 2014  New York, NY – ISLP, with the expert support of the Human Rights in Iran Unit at the City University of New York and international trade experts from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, released a report today that evaluates the U.S. and EU sanctions regimes against Iran and the effects that those regimes may have on humanitarian trade. The report finds that while the U.S. and EU sanctions measures feature humanitarian exemptions—including allowances for the export to Iran of agricultural goods, medicine, and medical devices—many exporters and financial institutions nevertheless avoid these transactions due to business or reputational risks, fear that the exemptions may not protect them from the harsh penalties they face under opaque and overlapping statutory and regulatory sanctions which broadly prohibit trade with Iran, or because the risks of participating in such transactions outweigh commercial benefits.<more>

ISLP Finds Serious Violations of Fair Trial Rights for Cambodian Garment Workers

September 26, 2014  New York, NY – ISLP, with the expert support of Destination Justice (DJ), released a report today documenting the findings of the trial monitoring in the cases of 23 Cambodian nationals who were arrested, criminally charged, and convicted in connection with the garment worker protests of January 2014. The report expresses strong concern as to the fairness of the April-May 2014 trials, highlighting the lack of due process and failure of the government to provide an independent and impartial tribunal. It also notes serious irregularities with regard to pretrial detention, access to medical care, and several other basic principles of criminal justice and human rights. <more>

ISLP and Hogan Lovells to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award for Global Citizenship from The American Lawyer

August 5, 2014  New York, NY – The American Lawyer has named the International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP) and the law firm Hogan Lovells as co-awardees of its 2014 Global Citizenship Lifetime Achievement Award, which is aimed at recognizing lawyers’ outstanding cross-border legal work and continuing commitment to pro bono and corporate social responsibility. The judges singled out the organizations’ work in Liberia, which began in 2007 and is ongoing. <more>

Statement Concerning the Trials in Phnom Penh Municipal Court of 23 Persons Convicted in Connection with Protests by Garment Workers on 2 and 3 January 2014 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

May 30, 2014  Phnom Penh, Cambodia – The trials in Phnom Penh Municipal Court of 23 persons who were all convicted today of various charges in connection with protests by garment workers in early January 2014 fell far short of international standards for the conduct of fair trials, according to an attorney from the International Senior Lawyers Project who personally monitored the trials as a neutral observer. <more>

Drummond Woodsum Shareholder Richard A. Spencer Volunteers Overseas

February 10, 2014  – Drummond Woodsum, an entrepreneurial full-service law firm in Maine and New Hampshire, announced today that attorney Richard A. Spencer will be spending 6 weeks in Thailand and Burma/Myanmar, assisting with an environmental law project under the auspices of The International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP). <more>

ISLP Urges European Commissioner's Intervention in Cases of Turkish Attorneys Detained for Human Rights Advocacy

February 6, 2014  New York, NY – The International Senior Lawyers Project has sent a second inquiry to the European Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, urging his intervention in the case of Muharrem Erbey, Vice President of the Human Rights Association of Turkey and a prominent human rights attorney who has been detained by the Turkish Government for over four years while officials pursue criminal charges against him based on his work as an attorney and a human rights defender. In the inquiry, ISLP also expressed concern about the recent prosecution of another attorney, Ramazan Demir, who faces criminal charges and potential disbarment for his work as defense counsel to one of the defendants in the “KCK Press Trial” against 44 journalists alleged to have ties to the Kurdish organization Koma Civakên Kurdistan (KCK) (Group of Communities in Kurdistan). ISLP requests an urgent meeting with the Commissioner to discuss its concerns over an apparent trend to criminalize the work of lawyers in Turkey. <more>

Uluslararası Kıdemli Avukatlar Projesi, Avrupa Komisyonu Üyesini Acilen İnsan Hakları Savunuculuğu Nedeniyle Tutuklu Türk Avukatların Davalarına Müdahaleye Çağırıyor

6 Şubat 2014  New York, NY – Uluslararası Kıdemli Avukatlar Projesi (ISLP), İnsan Hakları Avrupa Komisyonu Üyesi Nils Muižnieks’e bugün ikinci kez mektup yollayarak Türk Hükümeti tarafından avukatlık ve insan hakları savunuculuğu nedeniyle yaptığı işlere yönelik dava açılan ve dört yıldır tutuklu tutulan İnsan Hakları Derneği Başkan Yardımcısı ve önde gelen insan hakları avukatı Muharrem Erbey davasını takip etmeye çağırdı. Bu mektupta ISLP ayrıca Koma Civakén Kurdistan (Kürdistan Toplulukları Birliği veya KCK) ile bağlantıları olduğundan şüphelenilen 44 gazeteci hakkındaki “KCK Basın Davası” avukatlarından Ramazan Demir’in davada savunma avukatı olarak gösterdiği çabalar nedeni ile suçlanması ve barodan atılma tehlikesi ile karşı karşıya olması ile ilgili endişelerini de belirtmiştir. ISLP, Komisyon Üyesi ile Türkiye’de, avukatlık mesleğinin kriminalize edilmesi yönündeki eğilime karşı endişelerini tartışmak için acil bir toplantı talep etmiştir. <more>

ISLP Supporter is “$100 Millionth Donor” on GlobalGiving Site

January 14, 2014  New York, NY – ISLP announced today that one of its supporters made a $50 contribution to an ISLP campaign that pushed the total dollars contributed to GlobalGiving member organizations past the $100 million mark. The donor, a man named Saunora, gave to ISLP’s “Help 200 Cambodian Villagers Evicted In Land-Grab” campaign, which was launched on the GlobalGiving fundraising website in November, 2013. The campaign supports ISLP’s partnership with the Community Legal Education Center (CLEC), a Cambodian nonprofit, as it pursues a potentially groundbreaking case in an English court on behalf of subsistence farmers who are seeking fair compensation from two multinational companies that bought sugar grown on land from which the farmers were illegally evicted.<more>

New Book on Mining Contracts Explains Complex Agreements to Lay Audience

December 18, 2013  Washington, DC – Fourteen experts - including 3 ISLP lawyers - have produced the world’s most comprehensive book on mining contracts for lay readers in just five days using a collaborative writing technique known as a “Book Sprint.” The authors aim to reach those professionals and members of civil society working on resource governance around the world through print and e-book editions. The book offers an entirely new explanation of the contracts at the heart of a controversial industry. Its two dozen chapters address issues such as how contracts interact with laws and treaties, how fiscal tools work and interact, how contracts can protect the environment and community rights, and how to avoid and manage disputes, along with many other topics. To create Mining Contracts: How to Read and Understand Them, a group of 14 corporate lawyers, government negotiators, and experts from the World Bank and academia gathered at a secluded house on the shores of the United States’ Chesapeake Bay last Monday, December 8. The work was finished by Friday, December 13. The authors are a diverse group, hailing from North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, and were able to bring region-specific perspectives to the sprint. <more>

International Senior Lawyers Project Announces New UK Director

October 7, 2013  London – The International Senior Lawyers Project-UK today announces the appointment of former Allen & Overy partner Susan Hazledine as its new Director. Garth Meintjes, Executive Director of ISLP in New York, says of the appointment: “Susan brings tremendous expertise and leadership to ISLP-UK. She is very aware of the issues and challenges facing development and human rights groups around the world and combines this with a particular understanding of how current and former partners, barristers and judges can best use their expertise and skills to support these organizations in their missions.” Michael Smyth CBE, Chair of the ISLP-UK Board of Trustees, comments: “The ISLP-UK Board is delighted to welcome Susan to this new role as its Director. She has been a Trustee of the organization for the past three years and is a strong voice in support of global pro bono. She is the ideal person to take ISLP-UK to the next stage of its development." <more>

ISLP Urges European Commissioner to Review Case of Turkish Attorney Detained for Human Rights Advocacy

August 12, 2013  New York, NY – The International Senior Lawyers Project has written to the European Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, urging him to intervene in the case of Muharrem Erbey, Vice President of the Human Rights Association of Turkey and a prominent human rights attorney. ISLP is concerned that Turkey has used vague and overbroad counterterrorism laws to prosecute lawyers for simply providing legal services to victims of human rights abuses. <more>

Uluslararası Kıdemli Avukatlar Projesi Avrupa Komisyonu Üyesini İnsan Hakları Savunuculuğu Nedeniyle Tutuklu Türk Avukatın Davasını Gözden Geçirmeye Çağırdı

12 Ağustos 2013 New York, NY – ISLP Avrupa Konseyi’nin İnsan Haklarından Sorumlu komisyon üyesi Nils Muižnieks’e yazarak, Türkiye İnsan Hakları Derneği (İHD) Başkan Yardımcısı ve önde gelen insan hakları avukatı Muharrem Erbey’in davasına müdahil olması yönünde çağrıda bulunmuştur. <more>

ISLP Pushes for Review of Detention of Turkish Lawyers

June 13, 2013  New York, NY – The International Senior Lawyers Project urges the Turkish authorities to review the detention of Turkish lawyers that occurred on June 11, 2013. According to information received by ISLP, 50-72 lawyers had gathered peacefully inside the Caglayan Justice Palace, the main justice court in Istanbul, to protest the use of force by police against protesters in Taksim Square and elsewhere in Turkey. Police arrested and forcibly removed the lawyers from the courthouse. This action against the bar marks an escalation of the government's abusive reactions to the nationwide outbreak of protests and sends and ominous signal to lawyers throughout Turkey. We urge officials at the highest levels of government to promptly review the arrests to determine whether they were authorized by court order or justified by an exigency and hold accountable any officers that used excessive force.<more>

ISLP-Europe Launches Pilot Mediation Program for Polish Cases in the European Court of Human Rights

April 26, 2013  Warsaw, Poland – The International Senior Lawyers Project-Europe, in partnership with the Polish Section of the International Commission of Jurists, announces the May 17 launch of a pilot program to promote the use of mediation to resolve certain cases before the European Court of Human Rights. <more>

ISLP Book Launch 7/23: Exporting the Matrix

On July 23rd, ISLP introduced its first book-length publication, Exporting the Matrix: The Campaign to Reform Media Laws Abroad, edited by Richard N. Winfield, head of ISLP's Media Law Working Group. Exporting the Matrix presents the personal accounts of 15 international media law specialists who have worked pro bono helping transitional democracies draft and revise legislation involving freedom of information and provide on-site assistance to local stakeholders around the world.

Eric Koi Senessie Convicted of Contempt of Court for Witness Tampering

June 22, 2012  Freetown, Sierra Leone - Former RUF member Eric Koi Senessie was convicted late Thursday on eight of nine contempt of court charges alleging that he had attempted to induce five prosecution witnesses who testified in the Taylor trial to recant their testimony. Four of the counts alleged he had offered a bribe to a witness, and five of the counts alleged that he had attempted to influence a witness. <more>

ISLP Joins Global Rights African Regional Workshop on Strategic Human Rights Litigation

June 20, 2012  New York, NY – ISLP Volunteers Steven Goldberg (US) and Jean-Louis Libert (Belgium) provided expert legal training support for a five-day workshop on June 11-15, 2012 for legal aid providers from Burundi, Nigeria, and Uganda.  <more>

Garth Meintjes Appointed Executive Director of International Senior Lawyers Project

March 19, 2012  New York, NY – The Board of Directors of the International Senior Lawyers Project is pleased to announce that Garth Meintjes has been appointed Executive Director of the organization, effective as of March 1, 2012.  <more>

Attorney General Welcomes New Initiative to Engage Senior Lawyers in International Pro Bono Legal Work

October 17, 2011  London, UK – The International Senior Lawyers Project was officially launched in the UK today at an event hosted by the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC, and held at the offices of Hogan Lovells.  <more>



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