Last Monday, January 24, was marked around the world as the “Day of the Endangered Lawyer” (DEL). Started 11 years ago and set on the day in 1977 when four labor lawyers in Spain were murdered in Madrid in the so-called Atocha Massacre. Managed by the Dutch Foundation The Day of the Endangered Lawyer. The aim is to draw the attention of the global community to the threats facing lawyers seeking to do their job. This year, the focus is on Colombia, which according to the DEL report has one of the highest murder rates for lawyers, with the highest murder rate in Latin America for human rights defenders. human rights.
While lawyers in the United States generally do not face the same physical threats as lawyers in countries previously designated by DEL—Azerbaijan (2021), Pakistan (2020), Turkey (2019 and 2012), Egypt (2018), China (2017), Honduras (2016), Philippines (2015) and Iran (2010) – this day is a reminder of how environments can change and that the rule of law should never be taken for granted. More than 20 years ago, the Havana Declaration set out “Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers”, calling on governments to ensure that “effective procedures and responsive mechanisms for effective and equal access to lawyers be provided to all persons within their territory and subject to their jurisdiction” and “the provision of adequate funding and other resources for legal services to the poor and, where necessary, other disadvantaged persons” .