The Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) notes with concern, that on 28th October 2022 Ms Tamieka Clarke a member of the Bar Association of Guyana was arrested and detained in custody by members of the Guyana Police Force’s Special Organised Crime Unit. This followed advice given by Ms. Clarke to her client that he had a constitutional right to remain silent.
The CLA recalls that the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers (Basic Principles) were Adopted by the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, Havana, Cuba, 27th August to 7th September 1990 and state at paragraph 16:
“Governments shall ensure that lawyers
(a) are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference; and
(c) shall not suffer, or be threatened with, prosecution or administrative, economic or other sanctions for any action taken in accordance with recognized professional duties, standards and ethics.”
The CLA notes the Statements from the Guyana Bar Association on 28th October 2022 and from the Organization of Caribbean Bar Associations (OCCBA) issued on 1st November 2022.
- The CLA expresses very serious concern:
- that Ms.Tamieka Clarke has been arrested as a consequence of giving advice to her client and;
- that the Police, which should uphold the Constitution and the rights of citizens, have acted unlawfully and contrary to the rule of law.
- The CLA supports the Statements of the Guyana Bar Association and OCCBA.
- The CLA calls upon the authorities in Guyana to uphold the rule of law and the constitutional rights of citizens and lawyers.
Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA)
2nd November 2022
The Commonwealth Lawyers Association is an international non-profit organisation which exists to promote and maintain the rule of law throughout the Commonwealth by ensuring that an independent and efficient legal profession, with the highest standards of ethics and integrity, serves the people of the Commonwealth.
View the full statement here.