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Independence of judiciary: UN expert announces country mission to Pakistan

GENEVA (18 May 2012) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Gabriela Knaul, will conduct a visit to Pakistan from 19 to 29 May 2012, to gather first-hand information and identify general trends in respect of the independence of judges and lawyers in the country.

“I will pay special attention to the measures, or lack of them, taken to ensure the independence and the protection of the judiciary, magistrates, prosecutors and lawyers, as well as the integration of a gender perspective in the justice system in Pakistan,” said Ms. Knaul announcing the first visit to Pakistan since 1999 by an independent expert of the UN Human Rights Council.

Ms. Knaul visits Pakistan at the invitation of the Government. During her 11-day mission, she will meet with Government representatives, UN agencies, international and regional organizations, national judicial and human rights institutions and law professionals, as well as non-governmental, civil society and community organizations, in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore.

At the end of the visit on Tuesday 29 May, a press conference will be held at the Serena Hotel in Islamabad. Further information to follow.

The Special Rapporteur will present a comprehensive report containing her conclusions and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2013.

Gabriela Knaul took up her functions as UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers on 1 August 2009. In that capacity, she acts independently from any Government or organization. Ms. Knaul has a long-standing experience as a judge in Brazil and is an expert in criminal justice and the administration of judicial systems. Learn more: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/judiciary/index.htm

OHCHR Country Page – Pakistan: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/PKIndex.aspx  

Check the UN Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/indjudiciary.htm

For more information and media requests, please contact:
Amanda Flores (+41 79 752 0485/ aflores@ohchr.org) or write to SRindependencejl@ohchr.org
Alice Harding Shackelford (+923008542243 / alice.shackelford@unwomen.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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