COVID-19: Lawyers’ Organisations Voice Concerns Over Impact on Individuals Rights
During the confinement period to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the right of any person to due process has been severely threatened. In a statement of 20 May 2020, the CCBE urged European institutions and all Member States to overcome the current paralysis of judicial systems by:
- Facilitating the complete reactivation of justice systems in Europe, while promoting health and safety measures;
- Investing in justice (e.g., IT court case management systems) and legal aid;
- Providing support to lawyers;
- Promoting access to justice.
The statement concludes that an increase in legal aid funds and the (temporary) possibility to make advance payments to legal aid lawyers may already help lawyers overcome liquidity problems and survive the crisis while still providing legal aid services to clients.
Fair Trials International established a website – the COVID-19 Justice Project − that collects news on how the rights of suspects and prisoners have been affected in times of crisis. The website aims at highlighting unjustified curtailment of rights and share global lessons on how states can pursue fair, workable responses to the many challenges that justice systems are facing during the crisis. The website includes updates; users can report on new developments in their countries. By means of an interactive map, the public can select countries and view updates on different topics.