- A community support model has been put in place by bodies across the legal sector to support Afghan judiciary and their families, targeted by the Taliban
- The model involves three pillars, providing grassroots support in the area of housing and accommodation, funding and collegiate support.
- Coalition of The Association of Judges, Bar of Ireland, Law Society of Ireland, International Association of Women Judges, Irish Rule of Law, supported by Government and agencies such as Red Cross and the Irish Refugee Protection Programme
An appeal has been launched today to professionals and bodies across the legal sector, seeking pledges of support to judicial and legal colleagues who have fled Afghanistan, arising from the ascendancy of the Taliban regime.
Since August, female lawyers and judges have been particularly targeted as the Taliban seek to enforce their regime on those who played an active role in the Afghan State.
Retribution is being sought by the Taliban on those who were involved in previous judicial and legal matters.
In a model that is increasingly being adopted, the ‘community sponsorship’ model involves including colleagues in the receiving State to effectively wrap around arriving families, who share a common profession.
The community model is currently in place in Ireland for those arriving from the journalism and professional athlete communities.
Form of Appeal
A coalition of The Association of Judges, Bar of Ireland, Law Society of Ireland, International Association of Women Judges, Irish Rule of Law, supported by Government and agencies such as Red Cross and the Irish Refugee Protection Programme, has constructed a pathway for colleagues to provide assistance in the area of housing, funding and collegiate support.
Today, a request has been issued sector-wide for offers of appropriate accommodation for a period of 12 months, to cater for up to 11 families who are currently fleeing Afghanistan.
Legal professionals are invited to register availability of own-door housing for families, many of which include children. A separate ‘Justice Community Support Fund’ is also accepting pledges, in order to assist in housing, schooling and the wider integration process.
Launching the initiative, President of the Association of Judges of Ireland, Mr. Justice David Barniville said
I am asking all judges and members of the legal community in Ireland to respond to this call for support for our Afghan judicial colleagues.
Maura McNally SC, Chair of the Bar of Ireland endorsed the initiative with members of The Bar:
Those affected are our colleagues, whose increased risk is premised on their gender.
Their fundamental human rights need protection and that is reason enough to engage with this vital and necessary initiative.
In the words of Edmund Burke; ‘Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little’
Welcoming the collaborative initiative, James Cahill, President of the Law Society of Ireland, said:
“The legal community in Ireland is taking a collective stand in solidarity with our colleagues from Afghanistan.
Despite the enormous challenges faced in recent months, I am confident that a warm welcome awaits these judges and their families. I encourage colleagues to respond to this urgent and important call to action.”
Ms Justice Dunne, Chair of the Irish Chapter of International Association of Women Judges, who are also central to the initiative emphasised the need for support:
The plight of women judges in Afghanistan is one that requires all of us to do what we can to help those affected as much as possible.
Therefore, we call on our colleagues who can be of assistance to respond to our request for help as soon as possible