Russia’s rule of law crisis

The September 2021 Duma elections in Russia will define the composition of Russia’s lower house of parliament for the next five years. They come at a testing time for the Pro-Putin ruling party Edinaya Rossiya, whose popularity has plummeted following the controversial decision to raise the state retirement age in 2018 and, more recently, its mishandling of the pandemic.

This IBA Global Insight podcast looks at the continued efforts by the Russian authorities to suppress dissent and silence critics like Alexei Navalny and what these measures mean for the rule of law.


  • Maria Logan, legal counsel to Mikhail Khodorkhovsky during the Kremlin critic’s imprisonment in Russia for fraud
  • Galina Arapova, Director, Mass Media Defence Centre, Voronezh; human rights lawyer
  • Sir Tony Brenton, the United Kingdom’s Ambassador to Moscow, 2004-2008

Released on 07-09-21. Listen here

Afghanistan: ‘Shocking’ situation raises grave concerns for safety of judges and legal profession

The last US military aircraft departed from Kabul airport on 30 August, marking an agonising end to a dramatic two weeks that saw Taliban fighters effortlessly topple the Afghan government and President Ashraf Ghani forced to flee the country. As the Taliban returns to power 20 years after the regime was ousted by US forces, the rule of law and the safety of the legal profession is once again seriously under threat.

The speed of the Taliban takeover left armed forces, governments and the international community scrambling to evacuate civilians before the 31 August deadline imposed by Taliban leaders. Rescue efforts were severely hampered by security concerns. As thousands waited to be evacuated at Kabul airport on 26 August, a blast killed more than 170 people, including 13 US military personnel and other foreign nationals. Islamic State has since claimed responsibility for the attack.

‘It’s shocking that we find ourselves in this situation,’ Lord Peter Goldsmith QC, who served as the UK’s Attorney General from 2001–2007, told Global Insight. ‘It’s crazy that we weren’t better prepared for this. We will have to look at where the responsibility lies, but the problem is that this is not about political posturing. This is about people’s lives. For people who’ve done tremendous things that we and the IBA very rightly stand for – the rule of law, justice and a fair society – it’s shocking that some of them are being left in this situation.’

Published on 01-09-21. Please read on here