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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday 22 March.
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.
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.
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.