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 Czech Republic has a population of approximately 10.5 million and 12.000 lawyers (in 2015). The Czech Bar Association was set up in 1990 and has been a full member of CCBE since 2004, after being an observer member since 1992.
Key information about the profession:
- Initial training of lawyers: Master degree in Law which lasts five years. Then, a traineeship of three years during which the trainee needs to attend mandatory courses organised by the Czech Bar Association. The Bar exam is taken at the end of the traineeship. The practice of a judge, a prosecutor, a prosecuting attorney, a state arbitrator, a state notary, a notary, a trainee judge, a prosecution trainee, an arbitration trainee, a trainee prosecuting attorney, a notary candidate and a notary trainee, a licensed executor, a licensed executor candidate and trainee, a Constitutional Court Justice, an assistant to a Constitutional, Supreme or Supreme Administrative Court Justice, an assistant to an Ombudsman, an assistant to a judge, an assistant to a prosecuting attorney, and activity of an employee of the Ministry of Justice who has obtained a university degree in law could all be considered a legal traineeship. The Bar may recognize other traineeships to be the traineeship of a legal trainee.
- Continuous training: There is no obligatory continuous training system for lawyers. However, the Czech Bar organises seminars and conferences for lawyers on regular basis.
- Specialisation: There is no specific specialisation regime. The lawyer can choose a field of ‘specialisation’. Lawyers can provide legal services in general practice.
- Discipline: There are three bodies engaged in disciplinary proceedings: the Disciplinary Commission of the Czech Bar Association (83 members – all are Members of the Czech Bar Association), the Appellate Disciplinary Panel (11 members) and the Supervisory Council (54 members). For more details, see here.
- Legal Aid: The Czech Bar organises 15-minute free of charge consultations for general public. These consultations can be obtained in nine cities around the country and are possible in all fields of law. For detailed information about Legal Aid in the Czech Republic please click here.
Current concerns of the Bar and main challenges in the coming years:
The Czech Bar is facing a potential threat from online and other forms of alternative legal services.
Recently, they have also been dealing with attempts to disrupt the principles of attorney-client privilege, for example in criminal cases – search of a lawyer’s home or office.