International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL)


In their own wordsSince IADL's founding in 1946 in Paris, IADL members have participated in the struggles that have made the violation of human rights of groups and individuals and threats to international peace and security, legal issues under international law.


  • The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) does not include any financial data on its website, reflecting a complete lack of transparency and accountability.
  • IADL claims that “the funds of the Association shall be derived from…annual subscriptions of member Associations and individual members…grants; donations and contributions; [and] sale of publications.”
  • IADL formerly instructed users to make donations via accounts in Comerica Bank in Michigan and Caixa d’Est Alvis I Pensions de Barcelona in Spain.


Political Adovcacy

  • In October 2021, IADL “expresse[d] outrage” at the decision by the Israeli Ministry to designate six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organizations. According to IADL, “All of these organizations have long histories of defending and promoting human rights and are recognized throughout the world as leaders in their fields. The designations are a blatant attempt to criminalize Palestinian civil society overall.”
  • In October 2020, IADL called on France to release Georges Ibrahim Abdallah from prison. Abdallah was convicted and sentenced by a French court to life in prison for “complicity in the assassinations” of Charles R. Ray in 1982, a US military attaché serving in Paris, and Yacov Bar-Simantov, a second counsellor at the Israeli embassy in Paris.
  • In March 2020, IADL submitted an amicus brief to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in support of ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s decision to investigate Israel for alleged war crimes.
  • In November 2019, IADL called for the release of Khalida Jarrar and Samer Arbid from prison.
  • In March 2017, IADL lauded the UN ESCWA report on the “Question of Apartheid,” stating that the report provides “evidence [that] establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid.” IADL called for the UN Human Rights Council to “make more authoritative the report’s finding that Israel maintains a racist regime of apartheid in its exercise of control over the Palestinian people,” as well as “support boycott, divestment and sanctions [BDS] activities.”
  • In 2014, signed a letter, along with representatives from National Lawyers Guild, Center for Constitutional Rights, American Association of Jurists, and the Arab Lawyers Union, urging the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda to initiate “an investigation into crimes committed and ongoing during and immediately before” the 2014 Gaza War. The letter claims that, “By transferring financial assistance, weapons and other military aid to Israel, members of U.S. Congress, President Barak Obama, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel have aided and abetted the commission of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity by Israeli officials and commanders in Gaza.” The letter further accuses “Israeli political figures” of “ongoing incitement to genocide.”
  • Submitted a written statement to the UN Human Rights Council in July 2014 condemning Israeli actions during the 2014 Gaza War. The statement denies Israel’s right to protect its civilians from rocket attacks from Gaza, claiming that “Israel cannot claims to act in ‘self-defense’ because, as also recognized ten years ago by the International Court of Justice…the Palestinians constitute a people under Israeli occupation and are therefore not a ‘foreign’ threat” (sic).
  • During the 2012 Gaza War, the IADL condemned “illegal Israeli aggression in the strongest possible terms.” It published a statement released by PCHR and demanded “the urgent convening of a Special Session of the Human Rights Council.”
  • In 2012, IADL held “its bureau meeting in Gaza, occupied Palestine” where it met with politicized NGOs and networks, including the Palestinian Bar Association and the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO).
    • Following this trip, released a statement accusing Israel of “war crimes and crimes against humanity,” carrying out “targeted killings of civilians,” and “illegal collective punishment” that is a “precursor to genocide.”

BDS Activities


  • IADL’s member organizations in the Middle East are the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and the Palestinian Bar Association.
    • Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) is a leader in anti-Israel lawfare and BDS campaigns, ignores the existence of terrorism against Israeli civilians, and presents a distorted version of the conflict based only on the Palestinian narrative. According to a 1995 article in the Washington Report, PCHR director Raji Sourani served “a three-year sentence [1979-1982] imposed by an Israeli court which convicted him of membership in the illegal Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine…” He was also denied a US entry visa in 2012. For more information on PCHR’s PFLP ties, read NGO Monitor’s report “Palestinian Centre for Human Rights’ Ties to the PFLP Terror Group.”
    • The Palestinian Bar Association is a statutory body that regulates the practice of law in the Palestinian Authority. The PBA does not recognize the existence of the State of Israel, and in a July 8, 2013 interview, PBA Chairman Hussein Shabaneh stated: “In the Bar Association we say: ‘From the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea.’ We don’t recognize Israel’s existence at all.” (emphasis added)
  • In 2012, the Arab Lawyers Union, one of the IADL’s “regional organisations,” honored a Palestinian woman who carried out a suicide bombing at Maxim’s Restaurant in Haifa in 2003. The attack killed 21.

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