Irish Justice Community Response to Afghan Crisis

The Irish State is currently securing safe passage and protection for a number of Afghan female judges and their families arising from the dangers they would otherwise face by remaining in Afghanistan. Their arrival here is imminent.

As we know the position of female legal professionals in particular, judges and lawyers, is precarious under the Taliban regime.

In a unique demonstration of solidarity with our Afghan judicial and lawyer colleagues, the coalition of the above parties is inviting all members of the legal community to assist as part of a collaborative, justice sector-wide effort to support their safe transition to and settlement in Ireland.

The best and most fitting model of support is one based on community sponsorship where local colleagues assist in practical, social and professional ways to welcome and integrate those colleagues arriving, along with their families.

This model of support has proved successful elsewhere, and we believe is an effective way for the Irish legal community to lend its urgent support to our colleagues.

There are three ways that you can help:

Housing & Accommodation

Do you have access to, or know of, a suitable residential property to accommodate the judges and their families for a 1-year period? 

Justice Community Fund

Are you in a position to pledge a donation towards a fund to assist the judges and their families?

Collegiality & Support

Practical non-financial assistance, including professional and personal support, friendship, networking and social opportunities.

Who is managing this initiative?

This initiative is being overseen by a small group composed of representatives of the Judiciary, led by the IAWJ and the AJI, The Bar of Ireland and the Law Society of Ireland, and the wider Justice sector in Ireland (North and South), supported by the Irish Refugee Programme of the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, and the Department of Justice.

As the structures are put in place, colleagues will be updated.

The State will provide practical assistance to the families to secure school places for the children, access to social welfare and any health supports required.


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’

James Cahill, President of the Law Society, in his appeal to 11,000 strong solicitor corp, 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 most 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


Who can I contact about this initiative?

For any immediate queries that you may have arising from the above, you can contact afghanassistance@lawlibrary.ie , and we will endeavour to respond to your query. Thank you for your assistance.