ICJ Principles on the Role of Judges and Lawyers in relation to Refugees and Migrants

May 10th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has developed and published a document that aims to better secure human rights and the rule of law in the context of large movements of refugees and migrants. The Principles on the Role of Judges and Lawyers in relation to Refugees and Migrants has been prepared in consultation with senior judges, lawyers and legal scholars and it is intended to help judges and lawyers, as well as legislators and other government officials. Read more about the document here. 

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.

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.

 

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.

European Parliament: Foreign affairs MEPs assess reform efforts in Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina

February 1st, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Albania needs to implement EU-related reforms credibly, and ensure that its June parliamentary elections are free and fair, if it is to start EU accession negotiations, said Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs on Tuesday. In a separate resolution, they also urged Bosnia and Herzegovina to overcome its ethnic and political divisions and remain united throughout the EU membership application evaluation process, to prove that it is a functioning state.

Read here the full press release of the European Parliament.

Moldova – Access to legal profession

January 30th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

This post follows-up the post The Republic of Moldova – access to the legal profession.

The national Parliament has abandoned a draft bill after opposition was publicly expressed by the Moldovan Bar Association and other institutions in Moldova (including the Moldovan Women Lawyers Association and the National Anti-Corruption Office) as well as the CCBE. The draft bill contained a clause permitting members of parliament with an experience of 10 years as law-makers to become lawyers without sitting a bar examination and following a traineeship. The CCBE letter to the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova is available here.

The Republic of Moldova – access to the legal profession

January 26th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The CCBE has addressed a letter of concern to the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, after being informed of a draft law on the reform of the Bar. The draft bill contains a provision that would allow members of parliament with more than 10 years experience in the field of law to become lawyers without having to sit the bar exam and without having to follow the otherwise mandatory traineeship for lawyers. The CCBE finds that such a provision is contrary to European and international standards and would have detrimental effects on the quality of legal services.

The letter refers to the CCBE Training Outcomes for European Lawyers. Find the letter here and the training outcomes here.

New UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of Judges and Lawyers

January 13th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The newly appointed person serving the post is Diego García-Sayán (Peru) (starting with January 2017). The special rapporteur reviews individual complaints and reports on attacks to the independence of judges and lawyers. It appeals to governments, conducts country visits and presents annual reports. This position was created by the UN in 1994 in response to increasing reports on attacks on the independence of judges, lawyers and court officials. The position is assumed by the Human Rights Council within the UN and the mandate has been renewed several times since 1994.

Diego García-Sayán New UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of lawyers and judges

The office of the Special Rapporteur gathers information on relevant cases through a survey, the results of which have been published in an annual report from August 2016. It contains a summary of recent activities of the Special Rapporteur with notes on the international rights for lawyers, references to court cases and recommendations to governments, bar associations and international legal professional associations. Continue to read here.

Turkey: Memorandum of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights; Press release of the ICJ

December 8th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights issued a memorandum on the 2 December urging Turkey to take measures for investigating all allegations of human rights violations during imposed curfews and anti-terrorism operations. The Commissioner expressed, inter alia, “deep concern about attempts by the authorities to vilify the activities of human rights NGOs and lawyers bringing to attention allegations of human rights violations which occurred in zones cut from the rest of the world where there were no independent observers”.

On the 6 of December The International Commission of Jurists also stated its concerns on the situation in Turkey after the attempted coup, and “calls on the Turkish government to take urgent steps to guarantee the independence of the legal profession, protect lawyers from arbitrary detention or arrest and provide procedural safeguards to ensure the right to fair trial of lawyers under criminal investigation”.

Ukrainian National Bar Association has become observer member of the CCBE

December 6th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

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The application of the Ukrainian National Bar Association (UNBA) for observer membership was approved by the CCBE Plenary on 2 December 2016.

The UNBA was established in 2012 after the adoption of the ‘Law on the Bar and Practice of Law’ on 5 July 2012 by the Ukrainian Parliament. It is the official regulator and self-governing body of the legal profession in Ukraine.

The UNBA succeeds the Union of Advocates of Ukraine which has been an observer member in the CCBE since 2003.