Lawyers across the world run the risk of harassment, imprisonment and even murder just for doing their jobs, the Law Society of England and Wales said today as it marked 24 January - the Day of the Endangered Lawyer.

This annual expression of solidarity is recognition of the dangers many lawyers face as they work to uphold and protect fundamental rights.

Law Society president Robert Bourns said: “Today is a chance to reflect on the importance of the rule of law and the independence of the legal profession - essential foundations for political, social and economic stability.

“Lawyers must be allowed to carry out their professional duties without interference and should never be identified with their clients or clients’ causes.”

The country focus for the Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2017 is China.

Robert Bourns added: “The Law Society stands in solidarity with legal professionals around the world. We will continue to fight to ensure the survival of strong, vibrant justice systems everywhere.”