Capital punishment | 10.10.2020

October 10 - 18th World Day Against the Death Penalty: Access to counsel - A matter of life or death

As every year, on October 10, UIA joins the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty and abolitionist organizations worldwide to commemorate the World Day Against the Death Penalty.

The 18th World Day’s focus is particularly relevant for the legal profession since it aims at raising awareness of the crucial importance of timely access to effective and trained legal representation for individuals who face or may face death penalty sentences.

As UIA has been relentlessly reaffirming this year, in the context of the 30th Anniversary of the UN Basic Principles onf the Role of Lawyers, independent and free lawyers have a paramount role to ensure the right to due process and a fair trial and, ultimately, the protection of all other rights.

In capital cases, access to effective legal representation can be the difference between life and death for defendants.

  • UIA joined the World Coalition against the Death Penalty and many partners organizations, including FIACAT, IBAHRI, Advocates for Human Rights, ECPM and Reprieve, in an oral statement delivered at the 45th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council during the General Debate on Item 3 (see below).
  • UIA-IROL cosigned a joint statement initiated by the World Coalition against the Death Penalty and the International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute on the occasion of World Day (see below).

Find out more about the 18th World Day against the Death Penalty.