The Ukrainian National Bar Association became a signatory of the Resolution on the need for transparency in the awarding and application of the death penalty
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The Ukrainian National Bar Association is one of 53 Bar Associations from around the world which signed a resolution on the need for transparency in the awarding and application of the death penalty. The draft resolution was presented during the 8th World Congress against the Death Penalty, which occurred on November 15-18, 2022, in Berlin. The event brought together more than 1,000 participants from 90 countries - human rights defenders and public figures working to abolish the death penalty. The congress was organized by the partners of the Council of Europe: the Paris-based NGO "Together Against the Death Penalty" and the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty.
During the event, participants will have a unique opportunity to exchange views on furthering the abolition of the death penalty and opposing any attempts to restore the death penalty where it has already been abolished. Considerable attention was also paid to the lawyers' problems in defending persons sentenced to the death penalty.
Among the reasons for the need to adopt such a resolution, in particular, the following:
- despite the growing number of abolitionist states, some countries do not provide official information about their use of the death penalty, considering such information a state secret. Disclosure of a state secret is recognized in such countries as an act of treason;
- in some countries, death sentences are carried out secretly, without prior notification of the parents of the condemned, their lawyers, and sometimes even the condemned themselves;
- showing transparency in the issuing and execution of the death sentence has direct implications for the maintenance of human rights, both for those facing the death penalty and for others;
- without transparency, it is impossible to ensure the humane treatment of persons who are in custody and awaiting the execution of the death sentence and to provide them with proper procedural and legal protection under the applicable international law;
- showing transparency in the imposition and execution of the death sentence limits the ability of lawyers to fully perform their professional duties in the best interests of their clients facing the death penalty.
The signatories of the Resolution are convinced that the bar and professional organizations of lawyers have a key role in defending the idea of the need to abolish the death penalty and introduce a moratorium on this measure of punishment, as well as a role in protecting the rights to a fair trial.
The purpose of this Resolution is to call on bar associations and professional organizations of lawyers of all countries (both abolitionists and supporters of the preservation of the death penalty) to:
- upholding respect for transparency in states that retain the death penalty, data relating to the imposition and application of the death penalty, in particular on persons sentenced to death and executed, the crimes for which they were convicted, the method of execution, and the attack. , when amnesty or pardon was applied to them;
- advocacy for the right to a fair trial and due process of law for all persons facing the death penalty, without discrimination, including a human rights defender's regular access to his client and all evidence against him;
- participation in the international defense of the ideas of transparency in the issuance and execution of death sentences and their abolition throughout the world.
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