Tony Fisher rightly highlights the need for the debate about independent regulation to take account of our obligation to protect the rights of lawyers to challenge the state, and to protect human rights both in our own country and internationally.

Mr Fisher also calls upon us not to forget our duty to uphold the rule of law. Indeed, we forget to do so at our peril.

For many years, the Union Internationale des Avocats ( has been concerned with the ‘defence of the defence’. The UIA provides a worldwide platform for those concerned to defend others and to seek to ensure that the rule of law is upheld around the world.

Membership is open to all members of the Law Society.

Stephen L Sidkin, co-director of communication, Union Internationale des Avocats; partner, Fox Williams, London EC2