Roland Weyl, co-founder and first vice president of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, passed away on 21 April 2021, at the age of 102. The following reminiscences of this true people’s lawyer were submitted by IADL members:
Arab Lawyers Union<
We received with a great sorrow the news of the loss of our great friend Roland Wvyl.The prominent struggler and fighter, all his lifelong, for freedom, rights, justice and humanity. A pioneer advocate in the field of human and peoples’ rights all over the world.
Roland Weyl, the co-founder of our prominent organization IADL, was a great friend of all of us at the Arab Lawyers Union (ALU) and great supporter to the Arab Lawyers and the Arab people. He defended and advocated the Arab people rights, in particularly the Palestine issue. We in the ALU worked with him together in several occasions that we found him a man of principles and courage. His attendance to parts of our events was a benefit for us.
The passing away of the late Roland Weyl is not a loss only for his family and IADL, but also a loss for The Arab Lawyers Union, Arab Lawyers and human rights activists.
On our behalf and the ALU permanent bureau and general secretariat and all the Arab lawyers, I am sending my condolences to his family and the friends at IADL.
May God Rest His Soul.
EL MEKKAOUI BENAISSA
The ALU Secretary General
The ALU Assistant Secretary General for International Relations
Hala El Asmar
ALU head of international relations section
National Union of Peoples Lawyers (Philippines)
NUPL Deeply Mourns the Demise of IADL Founder Roland Weyl
Roland Weyl, a founder of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) in 1946 and its current Vice-President has passed away on April 20, 2021 at the age of 102. His demise is a great loss to humanity and to the worldwide struggle to defend the rights of the oppressed and the downtrodden.
We at the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) take pride in having worked with Roland at the IADL and in the various causes that we share with him including the Palestinian struggle, the defense of the Peace constitution of Japan, the reunification of Korea, the right of refugees and the opposition against US global domination, the continuing violations of human rights in the Philippines, among others.
We are grateful for his leadership in the international community of lawyers and jurists who link arms with our human rights defenders and defend the Filipino people against the fascist attacks of the militarist Duterte regime and its neo-liberal predecessors.
Roland Weyl is a crusader against tyrants and oppressors. After passing the Paris bar in 1939, he has dedicated all his life to the struggle, first against Hitler as part of the French resistance, then in the legal defense of the Algerian rebels and later on, the Indochinese rebels against the French imperialist. He and his wife Monique were in the forefront of the continuing battle to hold the United States accountable to the victims of Agent Orange during the US war of aggression in Vietnam. He is a brilliant lawyer and political activist, leading the Paris bar, writing major treatises on peace, the Marxist theory against law, human rights, the United Nations and international law.
Up to the very end of his full life, his lucid and brilliant mind has brought light to a world languishing in poverty, hunger, disease and oppression. He has inspired several generations of lawyers and social activists and has cleared a definite path on how to be a genuine people’s lawyer.
His death is a great loss indeed but his struggle lives on. Where law and justice are trampled upon by wealth and military might, where workers, refugees, migrants and oppressed peoples organize and fight for their rights, Roland Weyl and the beacon lit by his singular life, shall be there.
Farewell, our beloved Roland. You will live in all of us. #
Beth Lyons, IADL Alternate UN Representative in NY:
With sadness and great respect…I salute Roland…whose life and work is (and will continue to be) an inspiration to all people fighting for justice and equality and rule of law.
Two memories: About 10 or 11 years ago, he made a presentation at ICTR Defence Lawyers Conference in the Hague. As one of the Conference organizers, it made me so proud that IADL was supporting the fair trial rights of the Accused and fighting against the “Hutu only” selective prosecution policy of the ICTR.
A few years ago, we were on a panel together at a Legal Conference in Havana. I remember Roland spoke about the UN Charter. But what I remember most was that he spoke in Spanish….and…he had just returned to France a few days prior from a speaking tour in Korea before he arrived in Havana.
Roland was clearly an example of the famous song, popularized by Mighty Sparrow and many others that ….”age is just a number….”
One of the most memorable parts of the Havana trip was having a drink with Roland in the garden of the Nacional hotel….overlooking the Malecon.
Thanks for everything, Roland.
Institute for a People’s Constitution – South Korea
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National Association of Democratic Lawyers – South Africa
The National Association of Democratic Lawyers (South Africa) joins in solidarity with the moving tribute of the Institute of People’s Constitution, to a giant humanitarian, a freedom fighter, justice internationalist and an inspiration to all lawyers with a social conscience.
We extend our deepest condolences to Comrades, Friends and Family of Roland. His great soul will definitely rest in peace!
Vietnam Lawyers Association
So sad to lose our father Roland. On behalf of all Vietnamese lawyers I express our deepest condolences to his family.
Thanh, Prof Tam and all VLA members.
Neri Colmenares, IADL Bureau Member
My first IADL bureau meeting was in Paris many many years ago, and that was the first time i met Roland. he was indefatigable and even organized a side event after the bureau meeting. I was very inspired of Roland, thinking I hope I could still be that active and fired up at that age.
with sadness we say goodbye to Roland, an icon of IADL and international progressive lawyering for the people. His example continue to inspire.
Marjorie Cohn, IADL Bureau
Roland was an incredible and unique man who tenaciously continued to struggle for peace and justice his entire life. His unwavering commitment to the UN Charter was a model for us all. I am so grateful for his friendship.
Roland Weyl PRESENTE!
Jang Kyung Uk, South Korea:
Honoring an everlasting life of lawyer Roland Weyl
The last time I saw him in person was on the late May in 2019, when he turned 100 years old and he visited South Corea as fact finding mission to inspect North corean waitresses who were deceived and came to South.
At that time, saying we have to work until we are exhausted and cannot move, he worked with enthusiasm as always.
His opinion on the problem of the Korean peninsula was come up as the practical weapons broadening the horizon of us.
He advocated that, following the Charter of the United nations, make the peace zone in different part of the world and withdraw all foreign troops and military bases in peace zone.
He aspired to exersice the self-determination rights of Corean nation with unity of South and North Korea, and to achieve the unity of Corea by the withdrawal of US troops and its military bases. Also he wanted to visit the united Korea.
He made a speech on June 27th, 2020, at the meeting of the member of IADL. In his short message, we can feel his aspiration thinking the problem of Korean peninsula.
His short remarks on online meeting of Iadl bureau on 27 June 2020, show his concern on Korean peninsula issues.
Saturday, 27 June – Roland Weyl addressed the meeting, speaking about the importance of working globally for peace, especially on the Korean peninsula against U.S. intervention.
All the time I ever spent with him was a great honor of my life. I wish him enjoy eternal rest with his wife. We will continue to fight and advance toward reunification of Korea and World Peace.
사랑합니다(I love you).
존경합니다(I respect you).
그립습니다(I miss you).
장경욱 올림(Jang Kyung Uk from south korea)
Hasan Tarique Chowdhury, IADL Bureau Member
Bangladesh Condoles the Demise of Roland Weyl
On behalf of Lawyers of Bangladesh and Democratic Lawyers Association of Bangladesh, I deeply condole the demise of our longtime friend, leader, guide and philosopher Roland Weyl. His extraordinary, devoted and century-long struggle for humanity, peace and justice will be a big source of inspiration for all of us. I remember his great contribution for the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. He also contributed a lot for the Confederation of Lawyers of Asia and Pacific. He will continue to live among our struggle for peace, humanity and justice. I pay my tribute to his great memory and convey my heartfelt sympathy for his bereaved family and friends.
Regards- Hasan Tarique Chowdhury Bureau Member, IADL
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