International lawyers intervene in Trump travel ban cases
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International lawyers have urged the US courts to continue to reject President Trump’s attempts to impose travel bans on citizens from various Muslim-majority countries.
In an amicus brief submitted last week in two courts, lawyers for the International Bar Association argue that the judges must consider international law principles “regarding judicial independence and due process rights of refugees” in assessing the travel bans.
Three global law firms – New York-based Debevoise & Plimpton and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett along with the transatlantic practice DLA Piper – drafted the briefs for the association’s human rights institute. The move was prompted, said the association, by comments from Trump and White House officials “questioning the validity of judicial rulings, and denigrating the motives and integrity of US federal judges”.
Martin Solc, the IBA’s president and a lawyer with the Czech Republic law firm Kocian Solc Balastik, said it was “particularly disheartening to hear the president of the US disparage the bench.
“Many still look to the US as a beacon of democracy, one that respects fully an independent and confident judiciary. President Trump's comments are in stark contrast to this generally held view, and are unhelpful to his nation's judiciary.
“As the holder of the highest office in the US, the president should lead the way in showing respect for the judiciary and support for court decisions, even when they may not be in his favour.”
Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws, QC, the institute’s co-chairwoman, added that it was “unconscionable and ludicrous that any person could be prevented from entering a democratic nation based solely on her or his religion or place of origin”.