Remarks at a Third Committee Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers

Andrew Weinstein
Public Delegate
New York, New York
October 14, 2022


The United States thanks Special Rapporteur García-Sayán for his work to promote the independence of judges and lawyers and for the report on the challenges and outlook for judicial independence in the context of the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goal 16.

We share your concerns regarding the many obstacles and threats to accessing and obtaining justice, particularly rising authoritarianism across the globe, corruption, and attacks against human rights defenders. We appreciate your focus throughout your mandate on the direct impact of corruption on the enjoyment of human rights and fostering of judicial credibility and integrity.

We are deeply concerned about attacks and threats faced by lawyers fighting corruption and defending human rights, including for women. We strongly agree that states must work to ensure that lawyers can perform their professional duties without interference, harassment, threats, or intimidation by state and non-state actors.

We condemn reprisals that human rights lawyers face in Russia, Belarus, Iran, and the People’s Republic of China, and we commend them for their courageous and vital work.

We ask: In closed societies lacking a free press, where the state bears primary responsibility for attacks against judges and lawyers, what is the best recourse?