CCJE opinion on draft act on the Polish National Council of the Judiciary

April 20th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The Consultative Council of European Judges (CCEJ) has made public their requested opinion on the Draft Act amending the Act of 12 May 2011 on the Polish National Council of the Judiciary and certain other acts. The CCEJ state that they are deeply concerned by the implications of the Draft Act for the constitutional principle of separation of powers as well as that of the independence of the judiciary. The CCEJ considers that the Draft Act would be a major step backward from real judicial independence in Poland. Read the full opinion here.

Albania: Statement by High Representative Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn

April 18th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

“We expect that Members of the Parliament will show responsibility, capacity to act within the democratic legitimate institutional framework, and that they stand by the people of Albania, who continue to demand that the vetting is launched and the judiciary eventually reformed, also as a crucial step for the country to join the European Union.”

Read here the full statement of 12/04/2017.

Independence of the judiciary in Poland

April 6th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights has addressed an open letter to the Polish Parliament’s lower chamber. The letter calls the Sejm representatives to reject the proposed amendments to the Act on the National Council for the Judiciary, due to concerns over the independence of the judiciary. Read the announcement here.

‘Defence of the defenders’ letters to Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina

March 28th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The CCBE addressed two letters of concern to authorities in Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina. On 28 February, the CCBE sent a letter regarding physical attacks on lawyers in Bosnia and Herzegovina. On 16 March, another letter was sent to Ukraine, concerning the killings of lawyers Tetyana Popova and Valery Rybalchenko.

Human Rights Defenders Workshop

March 22nd, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The CCBE’s Human Rights Committee organises together with the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism the workshop “How to improve the protection of threatened lawyers worldwide? Practical tools from the EU Human Rights Defenders mechanism”. The event is set to take place in Brussels the 30 March 2017. The workshop will look at international and European mechanism for protection of threatened lawyers. See the agenda of the event here.

This event is open to all and particularly to Bars and Law Societies, lawyers organisations, human rights organisations and individual lawyers whom are active in the support of threatened lawyers. Registration is required by sending a mail to the following address: event@ccbe.eu by Wednesday 22 March.

 

Moldova- Association Agreement Report 2017

March 15th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

EEAS has published on the 13 March the 2017 report on the implementation of the Association Agreement between the EU and Moldova. The report is based on the Association Agenda and the steps taken to implement reforms as per the agreed areas of cooperation. The first area “Political dialogue, good governance and strengthening institutions” concerns, inter alia, the subject of human rights and fundamental freedoms, which the report concludes requires tackling weaknesses in the justice sector. It is also pointed out: “Perceived political interference in the judiciary and law enforcement is a systemic impediment to social and economic development. There have also been instances of judges being prosecuted for their decisions. The same goes for lawyers engaged in high-profile cases. The EU and other international partners have questioned the wide-spread use of pre-trial detention, especially in cases linked to participation in demonstrations.” Read the full document here.

The CCBE has received several reports from the Moldovan Bar Association of cases in which professional rights of lawyer were breached. A letter addressed to public authorities in Moldova regarding these cases was sent beginning January 2017.

Comparative Analysis of Bar Associations in Select European Jurisdictions

March 10th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The Report ‘Comparative Analysis of Bar Associations and Law Societies in Select European Jurisdictions’, completed by a World Bank team in coordination with experts, amongst which also the CCBE, is published on the website of the Multi Donor Trust Fund for Justice Sector Support. The report looks at 10 distinct countries’ Bars and Law Societies and analyses their role, structure and responsibilities. It aims to provide comparative information for justice reform activities. The covered national jurisdictions are: Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, England and Wales, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Serbia and Spain.

Professional rights of lawyers under attack in Moldova

March 6th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The Moldovan Bar Association has issued a press release on 1 March 2017 regarding abuses by state authorities against lawyers. The Bar Association condemns the repeated actions of intimidation and attacks against lawyers initiated by state authorities, such as the criminal charges brought against lawyers Veaceslav Turcan and Maxim Belinschi. The CCBE has addressed a letter of support to the Moldovan lawyers in January 2017.

CCBE supports Georgian Bar in Constitutional reforms

February 7th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The Georgian Bar Association is participating in the process of amending the Constitution of Georgia. CCBE welcomed the fact that the Georgian lawyers were invited to give their input in shaping the constitutional framework for the legal profession in a letter addressed to the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, who is at the same time the Chairman of the State Constitutional Commission. The proposed amendments to the Constitution aim to ensure the right to a fair trial by guaranteeing, inter alia, uniform legal representation in courts, the role of lawyers in legal defence and the importance of the independence of the Bar.

Ukraine- Independence and self-regulation of the Bar

February 3rd, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

On Thursday, 02 February 2017, the CCBE sent a letter to the President of Ukraine, to the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and to the Chair of the parliamentary Justice Committee, in which the CCBE emphasises the importance that the state must respect the independence and the self-regulation principles applying to the legal profession, also in regard to the right of the bars to set their own membership fees. Read full letter here.