March 2

AEA-EAL on European Presidents Conference in Vienna

Maria Ślązak, President of the AEA-EAL, represented our Association during the 47th Conference of Presidents of European Bars, Law Societies and international organizations of lawyers. This year’s main topic was rule of law and fundamental rights.

During their stay in Vienna, the participants of the Vienna Advocates’ Deliberations are hosted by the Federal Minister of Justice and the Mayor of the City of Vienna. The fact that more than 200 participants from all parts of Europe but also representatives of international lawyers’ organizations attend the European Presidents’ Conference in Vienna, serves as a yardstick for the importance that the Vienna Advocates’ Deliberations have acquired for the legal professions over the years and even decades.

The Vienna Advocates’ Deliberations afford a most appropriate platform, not only for exchanging opinions and views, but also for filling information deficits, debating different viewpoints and developing strategies.

The European Presidents’ Conference has become a forum for dialogue, where the elected representatives of lawyers’ organizations in Europe engage in an exchange of experience. It is this principle of “informality” of the European Presidents’ Conference, together with an attractive social programme, which has proved to be successful for more than a quarter-century, without any interruption.

In addition to the traditional social programme – a welcome evening reception, a reception and gala dinner at the Palais Pallavicini, as well as the “Juristenball” (Lawyers’ Ball) at the Hofburg Palace as a splendid finale – the working session at the Palais Ferstel is at the centre of the Vienna Advocates’ Deliberations.

February 5

International Lawyers Day celebrated across Americas on February 3.

Countries in Latin America as well as in the United States commemorates lawyers’ contribution to the society on February 3 each year, which has been established an International Lawyers Day. This day is commemorated to recognize the hard work of lawyers, their work as rights advocates and in charged with overseeing justice. However, it is also a day to remember the duties of the lawyer as to the application of laws and justice.

Different countries have their own history and day to commemorate lawyers: Ecuador February 20, Chile May 21, Colombia June 22, Venezuela June 23, Paraguay August 2, Brazil August 11, Argentina August 29, Bolivia October 12, USA May 1 (Law Day), among others. Nevertheless, on February 3 of each year all countries commemorate the International Day of the Lawyer.

December 21

Winter Newsletter 2018

Dear AEA-EAL Members,
Dear Colleagues,

Please find attached the winter issue of our Newsletter.

It was the intensive year for our Association; we organized several international conferences and events, we are boosting works of AEA-EAL Committees, including the team of young lawyers to provide new ideas and solutions for our works. Our main goal is to invite to active participation as many members as possible; members should join AEA-EAL events, cooperate with its Committees, share ideas and best practices as well as participate in creation of our media – the Newsletter, Facebook and website to cause that network of lawyers from many countries will serve to all of us to exchange knowledge and experience, to be better prepared for providing legal services.

Please read the attached Newsletter! I do hope that it will inspire you to provide information, news and articles to its next issue.

It is the end of the year again. All of us are preparing for celebration of Christmas and New Year. It is a special time we will spend with families and friends remembering all good that happened in old year and hoping for the best in the coming one.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

AEA-EAL Team

***

Chers membres de l’AEA-EAL,
Chers collègues,

Veuillez trouver ci-joint le numéro d’hiver de notre bulletin.

C’était l’année intensive pour notre association; nous avons organisé plusieurs conférences et événements internationaux, nous stimulons les travaux des comités AEA-EAL, y compris l’équipe de jeunes avocats, afin de proposer de nouvelles idées et solutions pour nos travaux. Notre objectif principal est d’inviter à la participation active autant de membres que possible. les membres devraient participer aux événements AEA-EAL, coopérer avec ses comités, partager des idées et des pratiques optimales, ainsi que participer à la création de nos médias – le bulletin d’information, Facebook et le site Web Échanger des connaissances et des expériences pour mieux se préparer à fournir des services juridiques.

Veuillez lire le bulletin ci-joint! J’espère que cela vous incitera à fournir des informations, des nouvelles et des articles à son prochain numéro.

C’est encore la fin de l’année. Nous nous préparons tous pour la célébration de Noël et du nouvel an. C’est un moment privilégié que nous passerons avec la famille et les amis à nous rappeler de tout ce qui s’est passé de bon à la vieille année et à espérer le meilleur de la prochaine année.

Nous vous souhaitons un joyeux Noël et une bonne année!

AEA-EAL Team

EN AEA-EAL Newsletter winter 2018

PL AEA-EAL Newsletter zima 2018

December 21

Successful conference in Lyon

A successful conference on posted workers in Lyon. With a number of engaged participants, top speakers and lively discussions it was one of the best AEA-EAL event organized this year. Thank to Lyon Bar for hosting us in its premises. Thanks to all speakers, participants and organizers for our common success!

EN Lyon report

***
Une conférence sur les travailleurs détachés à Lyon. Avec un certain nombre de participants engagés, des orateurs de premier plan et des discussions animées, ce fut l’un des meilleurs événements AEA-EAL organisés cette année. Merci au Barreau de Lyon de nous accueillir dans ses locaux. Merci à tous les intervenants, participants et organisateurs pour notre succès commun!
see more on our Facebook

PL Raport z konferencji w Lyonie

December 10

Human Rights Day

70 years ago the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To commemorate this and to promote the human rights and civil liberties worldwide, a Human Rights Day is celebrate on December 10 every year. The AEA-EAL as a member of the Defence of Defenders Network contributes to promoting and protecting human rights.

***

Il y a 70 ans, l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies a adopté la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme. Pour commémorer cela et promouvoir les droits de l’homme et les libertés civiles dans le monde entier, une Journée des droits de l’homme est célébrée chaque année le 10 décembre. L’AEA-EAL, en tant que membre du réseau de défense des défenseurs, contribue à la promotion et à la protection des droits de l’homme.

December 6

Slides from the seminar "Market Access: legal parameters in Europe and beyond"

We share with you slides from the AEA-EAL seminar “Market Access: legal parameters in Europe and beyond”. The event was organized in cooperation with the World Trade Institute as well as with the University of Bern. Speakers were high representatives of the Swiss and Liechtenstein governmental (and other) institutions being involved into access to the Single European Market matters as well as ambassadors of various countries, among the others UK, Ukraine and Mongolia. The aim of the conference was to discuss various ways of access to the EU Markets, to indicate obstacles to such access and their consequences as well as possibilities to avoid them.

Slides for download:

Slides Bollinger

Slides Clifton

Slides Hahn

Slides Maurer

Slides Meister

Slides Rybchenko

Slides Tribelhorn

Slides Weber

Slides Zurkinden

December 5

Statement on future Lawyers' Convention

AEA-EAL and Georgian Bar Association strongly supports the idea of drafting the Convention on a Profession of a Lawyer by the Council of Europe.

Find below our common statement

***

L’AEA-EAL et le Barreau géorgien soutiennent fermement l’idée de la rédaction de la Convention sur la profession d’avocat par le Conseil de l’Europe.

Retrouvez ci-dessous notre déclaration commune (EN)

Supporting_Statement

November 8

Tbilisi - 1st Day of the Conference

A very intensive first day of the conference on the Modern Legal Profession held today in Tbilisi together by the Georgian Bar Association (GBA) and European Association of Lawyers (AEA-EAL).


Laurent Pettiti (France), Maria Ślązak (AEA-EAL President, Poland), David Asatiani (GBA President), Christoph von Wilcken (AEA-EAL Vice-President, Germany), Ruppert Wolff (President of the Austrian Bar)


Participants of the Conference


Christoph von Wilcken, AEA-EAL Vice-President


Maria Ślązak, AEA-EAL President

October 27

AEA-EAL workshop in Bern

On October 26, 2018, AEA-EAL and World Trade Institute organized workshop “Market Access: Legal Parameters in Europe and beyond” devoted to various aspects of trade of third parties with the UE. Top experts, politicians and specialists discussed possibilities of market access and its regulations – from general WTO rules to association and possible membership. More detailed relation from the workshop will be available soon.


HE Jane Owen, UK Ambassador to the Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Maria Ślazak, AEA-EAL President, Professor Michael Hahn, Managing Director of the Institut für Europa- und Wirtschaftsvölkerrecht and Professor Philipp Zurkinden, AEA-EAL Past President together with representatives of Swiss Government


Maria Ślązak, AEA-EAL President with Professor Philipp Zurkinden, Chair of the Workshop, Past President of the AEA-EAL

October 21

Conference in Tbilisi

Dear Colleagues,
It is with great pleasure to invite you to the International Conference of Lawyers organized by the Georgian Bar Association in Partnership with the European Association of Lawyers (AEA-EAL) on November 8-9, 2018, in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The work of a lawyer in a globalizing world is becoming more and more complex and challenging. Thus, it is of utmost importance for us – lawyers to stay connected and share our experiences for the benefit of stronger legal profession and rule of law in our countries.

The program of the Conference will explore the following topics:
(1) exclusivity of a lawyer in legal counseling and representation;
(2) Restriction of unlicensed practice of law;
(3) Road towards a European Convention on the Profession of Lawyer being drafted by the Council of Europe;
(4) The standards of entry into the legal profession
(5) Role of the Bar Associations and private lawyers in promotion of pro-bono legal services.

I believe the Conference will be a wonderful occasion not only for your professional development but also for personal enrichment, as it will provide a networking opportunity among successful and highly experienced lawyers from around the globe, international experts, representatives of international organizations, diplomatic circles as well as Governmental institutions.
The Conference will also offer a social program to allow participants to experience Georgian culture, ancient historic sites, food and wine.

Registrations and questions:t.khokhobashvili@gba.ge

See you in Tbilisi!

David Asatiani
President of the Georgian Bar Association
Member of the AEA-EAL Board of Directors

Program of the conference for download: Draft Agenda Tbilisi

beautiful view of Narikala fortress and Tbilisi in Georgia

October 21

AEA-EAL Workshop in Bern

On behalf of the Institute of European and International Economic Law & the World Trade Institute, University of Bern in Berne and the Association Européenne des Avocats (AEA) we kindly invite you to the following workshop

Market Access: Legal Parameters in Europe and beyond
26 October 2018, University of Bern, Hallerstrasse 6 (2nd floor)
3012 Bern, Switzerland

Market access is crucial for international trade and open national economies. It is determined by domestic law and international legal obligations. Both these parameters may vary from one state to the other. For this workshop, we have invited high-level experts from Switzerland and neighbouring countries, representing both the public and private sectors, to discuss salient issues connected with market access; please find the agenda attached. Participation in this event is invitation only. We would be delighted if you could attend. For administrative reasons, we kindly request your registration by 24 October 2018 .
Fees: CHF 150.—, to be paid on the account of Prager Dreifuss AG, Credit Suisse (Schweiz) AG, CH-8070 Zürich, SWIFT: CRESCHZZ80A; Clearing: 4835; IBAN: CH98 0483 5044 0201 0100 0

Warm regards,
Philipp Zurkinden

AEA-EAL Past President

Program of the workshop for download: Programm Workshop Market Access

October 9

AEA-EAL Conference, Lyon, 23.11.2018

(English version below)

Chers membrés de l’ AEA-EAL
Chers Confrères ,
Chers amis,

Au nom du Conseil d ’Administration de l’AEA-EAL j’ai le Plaisir de vous inviter à un évènement particulier de notre Association–une conférence sur « les travailleurs détachés temporaires en Europe. Les aspects légaux, sociaux et économiques » La conférence aura lieu dans la belle ville de Lyon le 23 novembre 2018. Le sujet de notre conférence est vraiment actuel : En juin de cette année le Conseil de l’ Union Européenne approuvait la nouvelle directive sur les travailleurs détachés temporaires. Des discussions sont encore en cours dans de nombreux ; secteurs économique notamment le secteur du transport et de la logistique. Très récemment ,la semaine dernière, certains États membres mettait en cause la Directive en question devant la Cour de Justice de l’ Union Européenne.

Nous accueillerons de nombreux orateurs de très haut niveau avec comme objectif d’avoir une discussion très pratique et concrète. Nous aurons l’honneur d’accueillir Monsieur Antoine Foucher, Directeur du Cabinet de Madame Muriel Penicaud, Ministre des Affaires Sociales. Monsieur Jean Grosset, Questeur au Conseil Économique, Social et Environnemental, Rapporteur de l’avis sur les travailleurs détachés et sur le plan communautaire, Monsieur François Biltgen, Juge à la Cour de Justice de l’Union Européenne.

Outre l’aspect scientifique , cette évènement sera une excellente opportunité pour nous rencontrer ,pour faire connaissance avec des collègues d’autres pays et aussi de découvrir la beauté de la ville de Lyon. Le 22 novembre nous nous rencontrerons à l’occasion d’un dîner informel pour établir des liens et passer un bon moment ensemble. Le vendredi 23 novembre dans la soirée nous aurons une réception et un dîner de gala. Samedi matin nous aurons une réunion du Conseil d’ administration de l’ AEA-EAL à laquelle tous les membres sont invités à participer en tant qu’observateurs, et dans l’après-midi une agréable croisière sur le Rhône et une visite guidée du Musée de la Confluence.

Je vous invite tous cordialement à Lyon souhaitant ainsi des discussions fructueuses ,des rencontres dans une ambiance amicale et la possibilité de connaitre de plus en plus de membres de l’ AEA-EAL.

Avec mes meilleurs sentiments,

Maria Ślązak
Présidente

FORMULAIRE D’INSCRIPTIONLyon programme FR

***

Dear Members of the AEA-EAL,
Dear Colleagues,
Dear Friends,

On behalf of the AEA-EAL Board of Directors I have a pleasure to invite you for a special event of our Association – a conference “Posted workers in Europe. Legal, social and economic aspects”. The conference will take place in a beautiful city of Lyon on November 23, 2018. The topic of our gathering is very actual: in June this year the Council of the European Union approved the new directive on posting workers; still there are ongoing discussions on several sectors like transport and logistics. Very recently – last week – some Member States challenged above-mentioned Directive to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

We will host a number of excellent speakers representing policy-makers, industry, economy and lawyers with the aim to have a very practical discussion. We will have the honor of welcoming Mr. Antoine Foucher, Director of the Cabinet of Mrs. Muriel Penicaud, Minister of Social Affairs. Mr Jean Grosset, Quaestor at the Economic, Social and Environmental Council, Rapporteur of the opinion on posted workers and at Community level, Mr François Biltgen, Judge at the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Apart of the scientific aspect, our event will be an excellent opportunity to meet together, to know colleagues from other countries as well as to see the beauty of the city of Lyon. On Thursday, November 22 we will meet on informal dinner for networking and nice time together. On Friday evening, November 23, a reception and a gala dinner will take place. On Saturday we have will a meeting of the AEA-EAL Board of Directors, for which all AEA-EAL members are invited as observers, and after a nice cruising over the Rhône as well as a guided tour to the Museum will take place.

I cordially invite all of you to Lyon hoping for a fruitful discussions, meeting in a friendly atmosphere and knowing more and more of AEA-EAL members in person.

With my best personal regards,

Maria Ślązak
President

REGISTRATION FORMLyon program EN

September 3

Irish Rule of Law International by Norville Conolly


Some of the IRLI volunteers/ directors outside the office in Lilongwe Malawi August 2018. Left to right Macdara O’Drisceoil, Maya Linstrum Newman, Tyler Holmes, Jolene Quinn, Eithne Lynch and Norville Connolly.

Irish Rule of Law International (IRLI) is a joint initiative of the Law Society of Ireland and the Bar of Ireland as well as the Law Society of Northern Ireland and the Bar of Northern Ireland, dedicated to promoting the rule of law in developing countries on a project-oriented, non-profit basis. IRLI seeks to harness the skills of Irish and Northern Irish lawyers in using the law as a means of tackling global injustice and empowering all people to live in a society free from inequality, corruption and conflict
Originally founded in 2007 by the Law Society of Ireland and the Bar of Ireland, the organisation has collaborated with academics, judges, legal practitioners, policy-makers and civil society around the world to advance collective knowledge of the relationship between rule of law, democracy, sustained economic development and human rights. IRLI was joined in 2015 by the Law Society of Northern Ireland and the Bar of Northern Ireland.
IRLI originated in the recognition of the importance of the rule of law for sustainable development and we believe that members of the Irish legal profession have a significant role to play in strengthening the rule of law and shaping the progress of fragile societies. IRLI has worked and is working in a number of countries for example Malawi.
IRLI has been working in Malawi since 2011, to address capacity challenges within the criminal justice sector with the overall aim of improving access to justice for unrepresented vulnerable persons. As part of this programme, Irish volunteer lawyers are seconded to or positioned strategically alongside the principal institutional actors in the criminal justice system: The Legal Aid Bureau, Ministry of Justice, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Malawi Police Service. Their work is also supplemented by volunteer lawyers based in Ireland, who provide short term intensive training for partner organisations.
The Malawi team is currently made up of Programme Manager Fran Flood, Programme Lawyers Macdara O Drisceoil, Tyler Holmes, Maya Linstrum Newman and Programme Officer Jolene Quinn. Two further volunteers are currently being recruited to support the team there.
In Malawi there is excessive use of pre-trial detention and the lack of a comprehensive legal aid system, amongst other factors, have resulted in overcrowding in Malawi’s prisons as well as considerably long detention times for prisoners being held on remand. Overcrowding in prisons is a prevailing problem across many nations in Africa, with the practice of holding prisoners on remand compounding the issue. As a result, in some countries a good majority of the prison population is made up of those awaiting trial. By reducing overcrowding, conditions for prisoners improve thus enhancing Malawi’s observance of the human rights of prisoners and remandees.
The poor of Malawi also face physical, financial and language barriers to legal aid. Most live in remote rural areas, live on an income of $1 per day, and do not speak English – the language of the court. With no representation vulnerable Malawians are often held in custody for months, or years, until a trial court acquits or sentences him/her.
In tackling access to justice for the poor, IRLI has sought to implement mechanisms in partnership with local actors to remove obstacles to free legal aid in the short-term (such as capacity constraints and shortage of lawyers) in order to bring about direct change at beneficiary level, while developing systemic, sustainable interventions aimed at providing long-term benefits to the wider criminal justice sector.
IRLI works to build capacity in the criminal justice sector and provide access to justice in the following ways:

 Working closely with advocates and officials in the Legal Aid Bureau to progress cases of remandees and juveniles, with a focus on children, women, the sick, and the elderly.

 Training of magistrates, police officers, social workers, advocates and paralegals in human rights and due process, restorative justice and diversion, case management and client care, as well as the protection of children and young offenders who come in conflict with the law;

 Supporting the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to improve case management systems, processing of homicide cases and writing of legal opinions.

 Working with the Malawi Police Service to strengthen diversion programmes in police stations in Lilongwe so that juveniles and first-time offenders of minor crimes are diverted from the already over-burdened prison system;

 Facilitating a Child Diversion Programme in partnership with Chisomo’s Children Club and the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare with a focus on reducing recidivism through correctional education;

 Engaging with local Traditional leaders, with the support of the Malawi Police Service and Legal Aid Bureau, to facilitate community legal education workshops to sensitise the broader community about bail rights, diversion, child protection and human rights.

The Malawi programme is funded by Irish Aid and the European Union.

Norville Connolly norvilleconnolly@gmail.com.
Director Irish Rule of Law International www.irishruleoflaw.ie.
Past President Law Society Northern Ireland
Member AEA-EAL (European Association of Lawyers)

August 11

Lawyers' independence

We invite you to read an article on lawyers’ independence written by dr Elisabeth Hoffmann, member of the Board of Directors and Past President of the AEA-EAL.

THE INDEPENDENCE OF LAWYERS AND BARS

Introduction

Lawyers play many vital roles in democratic systems by preserving, protecting and perpetuating the rights of citizens. In order to accomplish their mission, lawyers have essential rights but also significant duties such as.:

– independence of the public authorities
– freedom of speech
– the right not to be identified with their clients or their clients’ causes ;
– the right to legal privilege (professional secrecy) and the duty to safeguard it.

A LAWYER’S INDEPENDENCE

I. The principle of independence

In an impartial and balanced judicial system, lawyers play a vital role as a genuine auxiliary of justice. Their independence defined and protected by ethical rules of the profession, is indeed in the heart of an impartial justice. In their position as auxiliary of justice, lawyers do not organically belong to the public service of justice. They need to be independent . This independence has several aspects:

a) it is an intellectual first: lawyers must remain responsible of the legal arguments and the advices they give. They also need the right to refuse cases contrary to their conscience or likely to impair their independence

b) In order to maintain their independence, they have to keep a financial distance from their clients. For this reason, contingency fees are for example prohibited in the EU and there is a ban on participation in commercial activities.

The code of Conduct of European Lawyers enacted by the European Council of Bars and Law Societies (CCBE), formerly presided by Ms. Maria Slazak, describes under article 2.1 as follows the various implications of the principle of independence :

‘The many duties to which a lawyer is subject require the lawyer’s absolute independence, free from all other influence, especially such as may arise from his or her personal interests or external pressure. Such independence is as necessary to trust in the process of justice as the impartiality of the judge. A lawyer must therefore avoid any impairment of his or her independence and be careful not to compromise his or her professional standards in order to please the client, the court or third parties’.

II. Lawyer’s independence in the European approach

a) Freedom of expression and its limits

There is no justice if the lawyer is not free to speak without constraint and guaranteed by a strong immunity. This freedom of expression is an essential guarantee for the defense of citizen’s rights. In the case Morice v / France, the European Court of Human Rights stated that:
‘Being the cornerstone of a democratic society, freedom of expression had a particular characteristic as regards lawyers, who had to be able to carry on their profession without hindrance; if the use of their speech were to be censored or restricted, the real and effective defense of the citizen would not be guaranteed’ [ECHR case Morice v / France, 23 April 2015, application n° 29369/10 of 7 May 2010). If necessary in a democratic society, freedom of expression of the lawyer may only be exceptionally limited, in order namely to impede the disclosure of information received in confidence (professional secrecy), to prevent the attempts to the reputation or rights of other persons or to the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

b) Independence of the lawyer vis-a-vis his client

A reference to this kind of independence is made in the Code of Conduct for European Lawyers enacted by CCBE when it states that: ‘A lawyer must therefore avoid any impairment of his or her independence and be careful not to compromise his or her professional standards in order to please the client’. (Article2.1.).

As qualified and trained professionals, lawyers will first of all advise their clients in consideration of applicable laws and become logically ‘the first judge of the case’. Furthermore, their necessary professional and intellectual independence implies that they should never be identified with their client’s causes. This consideration is extremely important due to the tendency, in certain countries, especially in nondemocratic systems, to assimilate clients’ causes with their lawyers in order to jeopardize lawyers’ independence and freedom of speech.

c) Independence in front of the state authorities

In criminal proceedings, lawyers ensure the balance between defendants’ rights and their mission of maintaining public order. They must have the means to oppose the state authorities in order to assure the defense and representation of their clients, without fear for the latter or for themselves. A lawyer should never be subordinated to a political power and may only be controlled by independent self-regulating bodies i.e. Bars and/or the Law Societies. This independence from the State increases indeed substantially the necessary confidence of the client. The client’s rights are, of course, much better protected if he his is represented by a qualified professional who is not submitted to public authorities. Moreover, the respect of the ethical rules enacted by Bars and Law Societies independent from States contributes to reinforce the lawyer’s relationship of trust with his client. In many Member States of the EU, the legal profession successfully defends its ethical rules by letting them recognize by the States. Indeed, self regulation (fixing freely their professional rules and ability to organize and manage the profession) has to be considered as a corollary to the core value of independence.

d) Professional secrecy, a basic element of client’s trust and lawyer’s independence

By combining Articles 8 (right to privacy) and 6 (right to a fair trial) of the European
Convention on Human Rights, the European Court of Human Rights offers an adequate protection of the duty of confidentiality – a principle which is not defined in the texts.

In the case Michaud v / France (ECHR 6 December 2012, application n° 12323/111 of 19 January 2011) the European Court of Human Rights stated that the licit fight against money laundering may not justify the deletion of the lawyers’ right to professional secrecy. It stressed that this right is essential in a democratic system and that the obligation for a lawyer to inform and cooperate with the authorities responsible for the fight against money laundering has to be executed in due consideration of the necessities of the protection of lawyers’ professional secrecy. The 4th EU directive No. 2015/849 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing applies this jurisprudence by providing that the delivery of the concerned information to the public authorities must be previously submitted to the approval of the competent Bar or Law Society which will decide if this disclosure could jeopardize the protection of professional secrecy.

e) The recent jurisprudence of the EHCR

In a judgment rendered on April 4, 2018 (ECHR, Correia de Matos v / Portugal, 4 April 2018, application n° 56402/12 of 4 August 2012), the European Court of Human Rights has resumed its vision of the essential role played by independent and competent lawyers in the administration of justice. ‘139. The Court reiterates the most important role played by lawyers in the administration of justice. It has frequently referred to the fact that the specific status of lawyers gives them a central position in the administration of justice as intermediaries between the public and the courts and has pointed to the fact that, for members of the public to have confidence in the administration of justice, they must have confidence in the ability of the legal profession to provide effective representation (. . .); 140. That special role of lawyers, as independent professionals, in the administration of justice entails a number of duties, particularly with regard to their conduct, which must be discreet, honest and dignified (. . .) 141 . In Recommendation No. R(2000)21 on the freedom of exercise of the profession of lawyer, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe emphasized that the profession of an advocate must be exercised in such a way that it strengthens the rule of law. Furthermore, the principles applicable to the profession of advocate contain such values as the dignity and honour of the legal profession, the integrity and good standing of the individual advocate, respect towards professional colleagues as well as respect for the fair administration of justice;’

III. No independent lawyer without independent bar.

In the context of the legal profession, in addition to ‘independence of lawyers’, the democratic societies necessarily accept the necessity of the establishment of independent bodies self-regulating the legal profession, i.e. of the ‘independence of the Bar(s)’.

In a recommendation to Member States, the Committee of Ministers of the Council
of Europe has namely stated that:

‘Bar associations or other professional lawyers’ associations should be encouraged to ensure the independence of lawyers and, inter alia, to:
a. promote and uphold the cause of justice, without fear;
b. defend the role of lawyers in society and, in particular, to maintain their honour, dignity and integrity;
c. promote the participation by lawyers in schemes to ensure the access to justice of persons in an economically weak position, in particular the provision of legal aid and advice;
d. promote and support law reform and discussion on existing and proposed legislation;
e. promote the welfare of members of the profession and assist them or their families if circumstances so require;
f co-operate with lawyers of other countries in order to promote the role of lawyers, in particular by considering the work of international organizations of lawyers and international intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations;
g. promote the highest possible standards of competence of lawyers and maintain respect by lawyers for the standards of conduct and discipline’.
[Recommendation R(2000)21, art.V § 4].

IV The relations between lawyers and courts

The actual vision of a valuable relationship between lawyers and courts in a democratic society is properly expressed in the Opinion no. (2013) 16 on the relations between judges and lawyers, issued by the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) on 13-15 November 2013:
‘7. Judges and lawyers must be independent in the exercise of their duties, and must also be, and be seen to be, independent from each other. This independence is affirmed by the statute and ethical principles adopted by each profession. The CCJE considers such independence vital for the proper functioning of justice.
21. The CCJE considers that the relations between judges and lawyers should be based on the mutual understanding of each other’s role, on mutual respect and on independence vis-a-vis each other. The CCJE accordingly considers it necessary to develop dialogues and exchanges between judges and lawyers at a national and European institutional level on the issue of their mutual relations. The ethical principles of both judges and lawyers should be taken into account. In this regard, the CCJE encourages the identification of common ethical principles, such as the duty of independence, the duty to sustain the rule of law at all times, co-operation to ensure a fair and swift conduct of the proceedings and permanent professional training. Professional associations and independent governing bodies of both judges and lawyers should be responsible for this process’.

V Conclusions

Lawyers and their professional organizations have a crucial role in a democratic society founded on the respect of the Rule of the Law and the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Lawyers must be able to work independently and without fear and they deserve therefore special attention by everyone interested in a fair and impartial system of justice. Furthermore, the lawyers’ independence is not conceivable without the establishment of professional independent associations. In every country, lawyers should consequently be entitled to form and join self-governing bodies to represent their interests and protect their professional integrity. These bodies shall cooperate closely with governments and courts to ensure that everyone has effective and equal access to legal services. They should also guarantee that the lawyers may counsel and assist their clients in accordance with law and recognized professional standards and ethics, without improper interference of public authorities.

These core values of the profession are strongly linked and interdependent. They are the basic conditions of democratic society where citizens are entitled to confidence in their political and judicial system in order to ensure their fundamental rights and freedoms.

August 1

AEA-EAL Summer Newsletter

Dear Colleagues,
Dear Friends,

Please find below a summer issue of our Newsletter. You may find information about our activities, in particular on Seminar in Moldova and conference in Kazakhstan, save a date info on our seminars in Bern, Lyon and Gdansk as well as relation from the AEA-EAL General Assembly that took place in Almaty. We also invite you to read an interesting information on recent Judgment of the EU Court of Justice related to Facebook and joint responsible for processing of personal data.

The Newsletter is available in English and French below. Polish and Russian version will be published soon!

AEA-EAL Newsletter ete FR

AEA-EAL Newsletter Summer 2018 EN

July 28

AEA-EAL Conference on Posted Workers in Lyon

SAVE A DATE!

AEA-EAL Conference in Lyon, November 23, 2018

We are pleased to invite you to our next seminar:

POSTING OF WORKERS IN EUROPE

It is actual and very hot topic still being discussed by the European institutions with the aim to prepare a revision of the Posting of Workers DirectivWe will discuss legal and economic aspects:

Social protection of workers – needs of enterprises – unfair competition?

Speakers will represent the European institutions, exporting or importing firms as well as representatives of national administrations and specialized Lawyers

See you in Lyon!

***

NOUSAVONS LE PLAISIR DE VOUS INVITER A NOTRE PROCHAIN SEMINAIRE LE 23 NOVEMBRE A LYON

TRAVAILLEURS DETACHES EN EUROPE

LE SUJET EST TRES ACTUEL :LA DIRECTIVE A ÉTÉ AMENDEE FIN MAI 2018. TRAVAILLEURS DETACHES EN EUROPE: ASPECTS LEGAUXS ET ECONOMIQUE

PROTECTION SOCIALDES TRAVAILLEURS-BESOINS DES ENTREPRISES_CONCURRENCE DELOYALE

Les intervenants seront des représentants des institutions européennes ,des représentants de firmes exportatrices et importatrices ,des représentants des administrations nationales ainsi que des avocats spécialisés

July 28

Succesfull conference in Almaty, Kazakhstan

120 lawyers from 14 countries, 5 moderators and 33 speakers discussed in Almaty in June 15 – 16 how to improve the quality of legal services in Kazakhstan and in other countries of the Central Asia.

Five conference sessions: INDEPENDENCE was chaired by Maria Ślązak, CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION chaired by Sergiey Sizintzev, PROFESSIONAL ETHICS chaired by Jędrzej Klatka, LEGAL AID, chaired by Jonathan Goldsmith, and DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS chaired by Norville Conolly. Within topics discussed during the conference “Advocates 2018” we promoted the concept of the self-regulated profession, boosted networking between advocates from Central Asia, Europe and other continents as well as promoted mutual professional co-operation between legal practitioners from different regions and legal jurisdictions. The event allowed a wide participation of our colleagues from the diverse regions to create a real forum not only for exchanging opinions and views, but also for filling information deficits, debating different viewpoints and for informal talks. It was probably the most important for advocates from Central Asia – lively discussions took place both on during sessions as well as on coffee breaks and lunches. Based on these discussion, conference recommendations have been drafted and presented.

Post-conference information available for download:Almaty post-conference information final EN small
Photos from the conference:
First day:

1st Day of the Conference full of interesting presentations, lively discussions and exchanges of opinions on the best…

Opublikowany przez AEA EAL European Association of Lawyers -Association Européenne des Avocats Piątek, 15 czerwca 2018

Second day:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/europeanassociationoflawyers/photos/?tab=album&album_id=173626383304036

July 14

New AEA-EAL Board members

We are pleased to announced that during the last AEA-EAL General Assembly two new Members of the Board of Directors has been elected: David Asatiani, President of the Georgian Bar Association and Andrzej Kaliński, Dean of the Białystok Bar Association, Poland. Congratulations to our new Directors!

We also wish to inform that Patrick Conrad from Belgium has ended his membership in the Board. Thank you Patrick for your work, engagement and devotion for the AEA-EAL that has been shown for years of your activity as the AEA-EAL Director.

July 14

Successful conference in Almaty, Kazakhstan

120 lawyers from 14 countries, 5 moderators and 33 speakers discussed in Almaty in June 15 – 16 on how to improve the quality of legal services in Kazakhstan and in other countries of the Central Asia.

The area covered by the conference topic was very broad therefore conference was divided into six sessions: INDEPENDENCE chaired by Maria Ślązak, AEA-EAL President, CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION chaired by Sergiey Sizintzev, Executive Director of the Republican Collegium of Advocates of Kazakhstan, PROFESSIONAL ETHICS chaired by Jędrzej Klatka, representant of the AEA-EAL, chair of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Polish National Bar of Attorneys-at-law, LEGAL AID, chaired by Jonathan Goldsmith, representant of the IBA and DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS chaired by Norville Conolly, representant of the IBA. The aim of each session was to elaborate recommendations in the respective area on how to improve the quality of legal services in Kazakhstan and in other countries of the region according to international standards established by the United Nations, Council of Europe, IBA and CCBE. Conference recommendations will be available soon.

You can find conference photos on our Facebook:

First
day of the conference

Second day of the conference

June 27

Letter from Anuar Tugel

We received a letter from Mr. Anuar Tugel, Chairman of the Republican Collegium of Advocates of Kazakhstan. You may find the photocopy of the letter below:

June 5

Congratulations to Monique Stengel

We are delighted to announce, That Monique Stengel, Past President of the AEA-EAL, serving currently as member of the Board of Directors, has been elected for the post of the Treasurer of the Federation of the European Bars! With this occasion we wish Monique success with her new duties.

May 4

AEA-EAL workshop for young lawyers in Moldova

AEA-EAL together with Moldavian Young Lawyers Association (MYLA) organized on May 4, 2018 a seminar for young lawyers on European convention on the profession of lawyer (context and need for adoption), view on ethics rules – independence, confidentiality and conflict of interest as well as issues related to management of the law firms. The event took place in Kishinev.

May 3

AEA-EAL President in Romania

On April 20 and 21 Maria Ślązak, AEA-EAL President was a guest of the Bar of Romania on the occasion of celebrating the 100 anniversary of the union between Kingdom of Romania and Transylvania, which was the beginning of the modern state of Romania. Maria, who is also a vice-chair of the PECO Committee of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) – a body responsible for external relations of the CCBE – was a speaker on professional secrecy/privilege of lawyers from a national and European perspective. She was talking about concerns and the steps undertaken within the PECO Committee in regard to complains connected to infringements of this fundamental value of the legal profession, mainly those related to searches of lawyers premises, interception and taping of phone conversation of the lawyer, control of the private correspondence of the lawyer as well as uncontrolled communication between the lawyer and his client.

April 21

Uber vs France

On 10 April 2018, the CJEU C-320/16 ruled that Member States may use criminal law mechanisms to prohibit and penalize the illegal exercise of transport activities offered by the UberPop service, without notifying the European Commission of such legislation.

In the given case, the “tribunal de grande instance de Lille” (Regional Court, Lille, France) asked for a preliminary ruling on whether certain provisions of French law which apply to services such as those offered by Uber, should have been notified to the EC.

Although the central question is partly independent of how Uber’s activities are classified, the CJEU has once again pointed out that a service such as that provided by Uber should be categorized not as an ‘information society service’, but as a ‘service in the field of transport’.

http://curia.europa.eu/juris/liste.jsf?num=C-320/16

March 30

Maria Ślązak awarded

Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen awarded Maria Ślązak, AEA-EAL President, with the Great Order for Merits for the Republic of Austria. The Order was granted for Maria’s outstanding achievements on a field of supporting and enhancing cooperation of European Bar Associations, and in particular – the Austrian Bar Council and the Polish National Bar of Attorneys at law. The decoration took place in the residence of the Austrian Ambassador in Warsaw dr Werner Almhofer, in presence of many guests from Poland and from abroad, including former President of the Constitutional Tribunal Jerzy Stępień, Chairman of the Nobel Committee Berit Reiss-Andersen, President of the Austrian Bar dr Rupert Wolff, President of the Polish National Bar of Attorneys-at law Maciej Bobrowicz and Vice-President of the AEA-EAL Christoph von Wilcken.

March 20

Anniversary of Jean Pierre van Cutsem

We are proud to inform you that Jean-Pierre van Cutsem, one of the founders of the AEA-EAL and former President of our Association receives an honorary award marking 50 Jubilee of his professional activity as a lawyer. Jean-Pierre served for over half century both for public and Bar’s life as a Chair of Foreign Affairs Committee of the Belgian French-speaking Bar, Professor for many generation of young lawyers and trainees as well as promoter of international cooperation of lawyers in Europe and beyond.

March 20

AEA-EAL on the 46th European Presidents' Conference

On February 8 – 10, 2018 Maria Ślązak, President of the European Association of Lawyers represented our Association as a speaker during the 46th European Presidents’ Conference. AEA-EAL Past Presidents Monique Stengel and Konrad Meingast also participated this event. The convention is the oldest and the biggest summit of the highest representatives of European lawyers. Also, many organizations from the outside of our continent are represented each year in Vienna. During their stay in the capital city of Austria, the participants are hosted by the Federal Chancellor, the Federal Minister of Justice and the Mayor of the City of Vienna. The fact that more than 200 top lawyers are present each year, serves as a proof for the importance the Presidents’ Conference. This meeting is a forum not only for exchanging opinions and views, but also for filling information deficits, debating different viewpoints and developing strategies as well as for informal talks. It is also a tradition that bars, law societies and international organizations of lawyers submits each year reports on their activities and international domestic developments that occurred within the passing year.


Traditional venue of the European Presidents’ Conference – Palais Ferstel

This year the topic was “Self-regulation or heteronomy – lawyers’ independence in danger?”. Maria Slazak was one of four speakers who delivered presentations and was speaking, among others, about international guarantees for Lawyers’ independence and self-government with conclusion that proposed European Convention on a Profession of a Lawyer is more than needed due to the fact that existing legal instruments have non-binding character (resolutions, declarations or recommendations) and the Convention will include an enforcement mechanism also for these Member States, where independence and/ or self-regulation is problematic or threatened. She also underlined that it is crucial for every lawyer to take into account mission of the profession towards citizens and society and not profits only. The presentation was welcomed with great interest from the participants (see below letter from President of the Austrian Bar).

Maria Slazak speaking during the conference

During meetings in Vienna AEA-EAL President met with representatives of several Bars, international organizations of lawyers and institutions, including  Christiane Wendehorst, President of the European Law Institute (ELI).

Maria Slazak and Prof. Christiane Wendehorst, ELI President

She met also with the delegation of Serbian Bar Association, with President and Vice-President of the International Organization of Young Lawyers (AJIA) and with the President of the Kazakhstan Bar Association, with whom a preparation of the common conference in Almaty (June 15-16) was discussed.

Vienna events was closed by a traditional Ball of Lawyers in the Halls of Hofburg Castle. This Ball closes carnival season in the Austrian capital.

March 2

US - UE: Privacy rights

Iain Mitchell QC, AEA-EAL member and chair of the CCBE Working Group on surveillance has been to Brussels to brief MEPs on a submission to the US Supreme Court in a case with potentially major implications for privacy rights. CCBE has filed an amicus curiae brief in a dispute between the US government and Microsoft. The US is demanding disclosure, under the Stored Communications Act (SCA), of emails which are stored outside US territory, in Ireland. Iain contributed substantially to the drafting of the brief.

He said: “The US government claims that seizure by it of personal data and other electronic documents is permitted under the SCA as a ‘domestic’ warrant if the person on whom the warrant is served is able to access the data or other electronic material from the United States, irrespective of where the data is stored.
“This may set up an irreconcilable conflict between US and other laws. For example, for Microsoft to refuse to hand over the data stored in Ireland would, if the US government is correct, place Microsoft in contempt, yet for it to do what the US government requires would put it in breach of EU data protection laws.
“This is concerning in respect to ECHR article 8 rights but is also of particular concern where the material in question is protected by legal professional privilege, both under article 8 and article 6.
“The aim of our brief is to seek to articulate why the CCBE believes that the US government’s analysis is fundamentally misconceived. We see it as a matter of great importance in protecting people’s privacy rights in general, and the right to a fair trial in particular.
“The LIBE (civil liberties, justice and home affairs) Committee of the European Parliament has submitted its own amicus curiae brief and the MEPs were grateful for our intervention.” Source.

February 23

AEA-EAL in Barcelona

On February 23 and 24 our Association participated in events in Barcelona organized by Federation of European Bars and Barcelona Bar Association. AEA-EAL President Maria Ślązak represented us in a traditional Festivity of Sant Raimon of Penyafort and our immediate Past President Monique Stengel represented us in seminar by Barcelona Bar and FBE on protecting and application of the industrial and commercial secrecy.

Information about the Barcelona Bar and FBE seminar

 

Immediate Past President Monique Stengel, Past President Juan Nunez and President Maria Ślązak

 

FBE President prof. Sara Chandler

 

FBE President prof. Sara Chandler and AEA-EAL President Maria Ślązak

 

Beginning of Festivity of San Ramon

February 14

AEA-EAL on the 46th European Presidents' Conference

On February 8 – 10, 2018 Maria Ślązak, President of the European Association of Lawyers represented our Association as a speaker during the 46th European Presidents’ Conference. AEA-EAL Past Presidents Monique Stengel and Konrad Meingast also participated this event.

The convention is the oldest and the biggest summit of the highest representatives of European lawyers. Also, many organizations from the outside of our continent are represented each year in Vienna. During their stay in the capital city of Austria, the participants are hosted by the Federal Chancellor, the Federal Minister of Justice and the Mayor of the City of Vienna. The fact that more than 200 top lawyers are present each year, serves as a proof for the importance the Presidents’ Conference. This meeting is a forum not only for exchanging opinions and views, but also for filling information deficits, debating different viewpoints and developing strategies as well as for informal talks. It is also a tradition that bars, law societies and international organizations of lawyers submits each year reports on their activities and international domestic developments that occurred within the passing year.


Traditional venue of the European Presidents’ Conference – Palais Ferstel

This year the topic was “Self-regulation or heteronomy – lawyers’ independence in danger?”. Maria Slazak was one of four speakers who delivered presentations and was speaking, among others, about international guarantees for Lawyers’ independence and self-government with conclusion that proposed European Convention on a Profession of a Lawyer is more than needed due to the fact that existing legal instruments have non-binding character (resolutions, declarations or recommendations) and the Convention will include an enforcement mechanism also for these Member States, where independence and/ or self-regulation is problematic or threatened. She also underlined that it is crucial for every lawyer to take into account mission of the profession towards citizens and society and not profits only. The presentation was welcomed with great interest from the participants (see below letter from President of the Austrian Bar).

Maria Slazak speaking during the conference

During meetings in Vienna AEA-EAL President met with representatives of several Bars, international organizations of lawyers and institutions, including  Christiane Wendehorst, President of the European Law Institute (ELI).

From the left: AEA-EAL President Maria Slazak and Prof. Christiane Wendehorst, ELI President

She met also with the delegation of Serbian Bar Association, with President and Vice-President of the International Organization of Young Lawyers (AJIA) and with the President of the Kazakhstan Bar Association, with whom a preparation of the common conference in Almaty (June 15-16) was discussed.

Also a meeting of AEA-EAL President and AEA-EAL Past Presidents took place, during which important issues for the Association were discussed.


from the left: AEA-EAL President Maria Ślązak, Past President Konrad Meingast and immediate Past President Monique Stengel

Vienna events was closed by a traditional Ball of Lawyers in the Halls of Hofburg Castle. This Ball closes carnival season in the Austrian capital.

February 11

AEA-EAL Conference in Kazakhstan

We invite you for the conference on fundamentals of performing profession of a lawyer, organized by the AEA-EAL together with the Kazakhstan Bar Association and Bar Issues Commission of the International Bar Association (IBA) in Alamaty on June 15 – 16 , 2018. During the conference we will discuss not only such topics like:
· Independence of laywyers and the bar associations,
· Rules of ethics,
· Continuing legal education,
· Structure of legal aid,
· Disciplinary proceedings,
but also make an opportunity for networking between lawyers from Central Asia and Europe as well as to participate in a social program showing the beauty of Kazakhstan.

More information coming soon!

January 31

UNESCO: Holocaust Remembrance and Education: our shared responsibility.

Since 2002, 27th January has been instituted in Europe the international Day of commemoration in Memory of the victims of the holocaust and prevention of crimes against Humanity. In France, this day is dedicated to the memory of all genocides and to the prevention of crimes against humanity.

If this date has been chosen in memory to the date of liberation of the cam in Auschwitz-Brikenau, it has become a date of commemoration but also a day of prevention, specially for young generations to prevent such new crimes.

On January 25, 2018 Monique Stengel, Past President of the AEA-EAL participated in the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, organized by UNESCO under the main title: Holocaust Remembrance and Education: our shared responsibility.

WIth this occasion Mr Robert Badinter, lawyer and professor of law, published an important article in the UNESCO Courier – “Anti-Semitism: Learning the lessons of history”.
.
Our present international actuality shows that, unfortunately, the lessons of the History don’t avoid similar violent acts and violation of human rights, also against lawyers as we could see a few days ago, on 24. January, during the Day of Lawyers in danger.

It is our duty as citizen and our role as lawyer to be watchful and to act to report and act against all sorts of violation against human rights and humanity.

Depuis 2002, le 27 janvier a été instituée en Europe journée de mémoire de l’Holocauste et de prévention des crimes contre l’humanité.
En France, cette journée est intitulée journée de la mémoire des génocides et de la prévention des crimes contre l’humanité.

En effet, si cette date a été choisie comme étant celle de la libération du camp d’Auschwitz-Birkenau, c’est devenue la journée consacrée au souvenir mais aussi à la prévention et, notamment, à l’éducation des jeunes pour prévenir la survenance de tels crimes.

Ainsi, j’ai pu assister le 25 janvier dernier à Paris, au siège de l’UNESCO, à la journée internationale organisée sous le titre “Mémoire et enseignement de l’Holocauste: notre responsabilité partagée”.
Comme le souligne Robert Badinter, Avocat et professeur de droit, dans le “Courrier de l’Unesco” à cette occasion, “l’histoire nous invite à la vigilance”.

Notre actualité internationale montre que, malheureusement, les leçons de l’Histoire n’empêche pas la survenance d’actes de violence et atteintes contre les droits de l’Homme, y compris contre les avocats comme nous avons dû le constater le 24 janvier dernier, à l’occasion de la journée de l’avocat en danger.

Il est de notre devoir de citoyen et notre rôle d’Avocat d’être vigilants et d’agir pour signaler et lutter contre toutes ces atteintes aux droits de l’homme et à l’humanité.

January 28

Study visit in Strasbourg for human rights lawyers

On January 23 – 24, 2018 AEA-EAL President Maria Slazak, in her capacity of past President of Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), participated as a speaker and chair of the panel in the study visit, organized by Council of Europe for a delegation of alumni of the “International Law in Advocacy” to the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights. The aim of the event was to discuss the role of human rights lawyers, supporting the idea of adoption the proposed European Convention on the Profession of a Lawyer. Maria made an introductory remarks and chaired the session on the role of professional bodies in protection for human rights defenders in the light of new risks and problems in countries of Eastern Partnership. Other sessions moderated by judges of the European Court of Human Rights and experts represented civil society were related to the scope of who is a “lawyer” from perspective of NGOs lawyers (in house and/or independent lawyers) – including disbarred lawyers, the range of protection of professional privilege with a special emphasis on lex specialis guaranties and duties of lawyers, including those related to effective exercise of rights of individual petition via legal representation as well as information on the European enforcement mechanisms for monitoring and protection of lawyers’ rights. Maria was also invited to conclude the conference.

The study visit was organized for a group of lawyers from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine by Council of Europe in cooperation with Human Rights House Foundation and CCBE.

On January 24, 2018 Maria participated also in a seminar organized by CCBE at the headquarters of the Council of Europe under the title “Threatened lawyers: The end of the rule of law in Europe?” / the aim of the seminar was to present arguments on the need for development and adoption of a European Convention on the Profession of Lawyer/ and in the Parliamentary Assembly where the positive decision to start drafting of the Convention was passed with big majority of votes.

January 28

Day of endangered lawyers

Resolution of the Board of Directors on endangered lawyers in Egypt

The Board of Directors of the European Association of Lawyers (AEA-EAL) expresses the solidarity with all endangered lawyers. We are seriously concerned at the current situation of lawyers in many countries where fundamental rights and standards are not observed and lawyers are harassed, silenced, pressured, threatened, persecuted or even tortured. It constitutes the manifest breach of the rules which are fundamental in the democratic countries.
We would like to express our grave concern for the situation of lawyers in Egypt. We call the Egyptian authorities to refrain from harassment and repression of lawyers and to reconsider the attitude to this professional group which plays a very vital role in the society.

We would like also to remind that when adopting the Declaration on Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, the United Nations Organization stressed that “Governments shall ensure that lawyers (a) are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference; (b) are able to travel and to consult with their clients freely both within their own country and abroad; and (c) shall not suffer, or be threatened with, prosecution or administrative, economic or other sanctions for any action taken in accordance with recognized professional duties, standards and ethics.” We call the Egyptian authorities upon the observance of these rules.

We express our solidarity with Egyptian colleagues who share our beliefs in the importance of rule of law and the respect for the human rights.

The Board of Directors
AEA-EAL

Journée internationale de l’Avocat en danger – 24 Janvier 2018

L’Association Européenne des Avocats / the European Association of Lawyers, AEA-EAL, exprime sa solidarité avec tous les avocats en danger. Nous sommes sérieusement préoccupés par la situation actuelle des avocats dans de nombreux pays dans lesquels les droits fondamentaux ne sont pas respectés et les Avocats sont harcelés, obligés de se taire, mis sous pression, menacés, persécutés et même torturés. Cela constitue une violation manifeste des règles de base qui sont fondamentales dans des Etats démocratiques.

Nous voudrions exprimer notre grande inquiétude au sujet de la situation des Avocats en Egypte. Nous appelons les autorités égyptiennes à cesser tout persécution et repression à l’encontre d’Avocats et de considérer à nouveau leur attitude à l’égard de ce groupe professionnel qui joue un rôle vital dans la société.

Nous voudrions également rappeler qu’en adoptant la Déclaration sur les principes de base sur le rôle des Barreaux, l’Organisation des Nations Unies a souligné que ” Les pouvoirs publics veillent à ce que les avocats a) puissent s’acquitter de toutes leurs fonctions professionnelles sans entrave, intimidation, harcèlement ni ingérence indue; b) puissent voyager et consulter leurs clients librement, dans le pays comme à l’étranger; et c) ne fassent pas l’objet, ni ne soient menacés de poursuites ou de sanctions économiques ou autres pour toutes mesures prises conformément à leurs obligations et normes professionnelles reconnues et à leur déontologie. ” Nous appelons les autorités égyptiennes à observer ces règles.

Nous exprimons notre solidarité avec nos Confrères égyptiens qui partagent nos convictions quant à l’importance de l’Etat de droit et du respect des Droits de l’Homme.

Le Conseil d’Administration
D’AEA-EAL

January 25

Consumers may sue Facebook in their home country

An Austrian citizen is allowed to sue the Facebook in personal case in his home country, however he is not allowed to lodge a class action against this company, ruled today the Court of Justice in case C-498/16.

Max Schrems had lodged the class action in an Austrian court on behalf of himself and seven other users in Austria, Germany and India against Facebook Ireland for various alleged rights violations including personal data. Facebook, which operates its European services in Ireland, had argued that Austrian courts did not have jurisdiction over its Irish operations, and that Schrems was a “professional” user and therefore not covered by consumer protection provisions.

The court decided that a Facebook user could be considered a “consumer” if their use was “predominately” for personal and not professional use and consumers can file complaints against activities in another EU member state in their country of domicile. “Mr Schrems may bring an individual action in Austria against Facebook Ireland,” the Court (ECJ said in a statement. “By contrast, as the assignee of other consumers’ claims, he cannot benefit from the consumer forum for the purposes of a collective action.”

Austria’s supreme court had referred the matter to the ECJ after Schrems’s lawsuit was first thrown out and then restored by the country’s courts. The case now returns to Austria’s Supreme Court for final judgment.

Schrems was the one who brought down the EU’s former “safe harbour” data sharing arrangement in 2015 after he sued Facebook in Ireland over the transfer of personal information by Facebook from Europe to the US.

January 24

AEA-EAL concerns regarding endangered lawyers in Egypt

The European Association of Lawyers (AEA-EAL) expresses the solidarity with all endangered lawyers. We are seriously concerned at the current situation of lawyers in many countries where fundamental rights and standards are not observed and lawyers are harassed, silenced, pressured, threatened, persecuted or even tortured. It constitutes the manifest breach of the rules which are fundamental in the democratic countries.

We would like to express our grave concern for the situation of lawyers in Egypt. We call the Egyptian authorities to refrain from harassment and repression of lawyers and to reconsider the attitude to this professional group which plays a very vital role in the society.

We would like also to remind that when adopting the Declaration on Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, the United Nations Organization stressed that “Governments shall ensure that lawyers (a) are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference; (b) are able to travel and to consult with their clients freely both within their own country and abroad; and (c) shall not suffer, or be threatened with, prosecution or administrative, economic or other sanctions for any action taken in accordance with recognized professional duties, standards and ethics.” We call the Egyptian authorities upon the observance of these rules.

We express our solidarity with Egyptian colleagues who share our beliefs in the importance of rule of law and the respect for the human rights.

Board of Directors
AEA-EAL

January 23

Report from seminar on « Electrochoc Numérique », Second Edition

Patrick Conrads, member of the Board of Directors and Thomas Verbeeck, a colleague of his firm went to the second edition of the “Electrochoc Numérique” semina, which took place in Brussels on December 14, 2017.

Lawyers are increasingly aware of the impact of the digital revolution on their profession. The objective of this seminar was to answer the two main questions which remained at the heart of the reflections: “Why do we have to move?” and “Where to start?”

Too many lawyers today feel innovation as a threat rather than an opportunity. Yet it is by developing a prospective vision of its activity and refocusing on its added value that the lawyer of tomorrow will emerge winner of the digital revolution.
The digital revolution, with its portability tools, misleads the traditional model because it opens up knowledge and pushes for transparency, responsiveness and collaborative mode. (The hourly rate model does not encourage firms to structure more efficiently and clients have become aware of it).

What do customers, who also live their digital revolution and have become digital consumers, expect? This question was the subject of the first part of this meeting. Customers are probably looking for more agile solutions in terms of pricing, communication, listening or content. Customers are increasingly demanding, which has consequences on the value of the benefit, on the prices charged and on how the right is approached as a product. The client wants to become an actor of his file and the lawyer becomes no more guide, but companion of road.

How can the lawyer then review his position in digital time? This question was the subject of the second part of this meeting. It is obvious that the client will no longer come to his lawyer to obtain an obscure or abstract legal answer. He will come to share a common experience with his lawyer and together, they will develop the best solution to adopt.
In order to carry out his transformation, the lawyer will have to improve his organization and develop new tools. He will have to develop a collective intelligence focused on free access to knowledge.

The meteoric developments of artificial intelligence open up new perspectives for the lawyer to manage knowledge, organize data, anticipate the outcome of litigation using predictive tools, and give time to accentuate its advisory role through empathetic listening and sharing of experience.

For lawyers, an interest in innovation, not only technological but also economic, managerial and societal, is a precondition for the necessary transformation to ensure the continuity of the essence of the profession of lawyer: defending and counseling the human.

An article written by Patrick Conrads drawing up a status of the issues of digital for lawyers is coming and will soon be published for all membrers of AEA.

January 22

Digital revolution : What about lawyers?

Please find below a very interesting article by Patrick Conrads, member of the AEA-EAL Board of Directors and Belgian lawyer, on how digital revolution affects lawyers.

Like many other professions, lawyers are affected by the digital revolution. Technological tools and artificial intelligence lead to simplified and automated procedures that upset/subvert/shake our traditional ways of working. In addition, lawyers no longer have a monopoly of knowledge, which is now open, free and available to all. By opening up knowledge, the digital revolution with its portability tools is pushing for transparency, responsiveness and collaborative mode.
The profession is now faced with multiple challenges: economic sluggishness, globalized competition, artificial intelligence, the emergence of an increasingly sophisticated outsourcing, transformation of some of its know-how into commodities. It is also competing with other professions, that is why it is now essential to focus our efforts on driving change.

Although the brand “lawyers” carries many guarantees of quality of service (strong ethics, demanding discipline, guaranteed competence), these essential elements are not sufficient to allow the profession to build its attractiveness and profitability model without holding account of the expectations expressed by consumers.

Lawyers must therefore question the value of changing the way they work, interacting with their clients and with their various partners (jurisdictions, administrations, other professionals). Innovation requires to increase the risk culture and also requires phases of implementation and adaptation that are not always compatible with the profitability requirements of firms.

Despite this, digital electroshock must be seen as a real opportunity for lawyers, the challenge being to think about how to take advantage of it.
Indeed, advances in new technologies offer many advantages: saving time, money, quality and efficiency in the collection and pre-processing of legal information, for example.

1.
New tools of work develop as well as predictive justice. With softwares, it is possible to calculate the probabilities of success in court and to predict the amount of compensation that clients are likely to receive. These softwares recover a maximum of rendered decisions and allow a quantification of the legal risk. Predictive justice is a step forward for litigants because they can have an idea of the chances of success of their action, but the software remains only tools.

However, the use of simple technologies makes it possible to increase accessibility without weighing on the lawyer’s agenda, for example by setting up extranets (Internet tools allowing the storage and the sharing of documents: contracts, procedure, company documents, or calendar sharing). Technology can therefore be a source, under certain conditions, of increased proximity and better service (doctrine.be, droitbelge.be).

In addition, new tools that are now financially accessible make it easier to generate simplified legal documents and platforms for linking lawyers and litigants (my-lawer.be). Platforms also appear for mediation or amicable dispute resolution with reasonable stakes in a diversion perspective.
Other tools exist only at a rudimentary stage but should multiply rapidly, like chatbots. It is a program that incorporates an algorithm to establish short conversations between a user and the website. Also known as “conversational agents”, these programs will develop an increasingly sophisticated language and draw on an increasingly rich mass of information (associated with the recurrence of certain frequently asked questions) to allow a first sorting in the questions asked by the litigants: the user asks a question “in natural language” and gets an answer as soon as the machine has identified the question.
Computer programs of artificial intelligence are also developing. The best known in the legal world is Watson, a program developed by the IBM company, which responds to the questions asked in natural language. A specific version of Watson has been developed specifically to answer legal questions: Ross40, which has been “hired” by a dozen law firms. This program is not only able to find among millions of documents a legal answer to a question asked, but also has a system of learning: It self-improves as it works.
These Artificial Intelligence tools will eventually replace the lawyer in his job as a legal technician to extract relevant references to the case. The lawyer will focus on the strategy and the human aspect of the case, which is at the heart of his job.

 

2.
On the other hand, the digital revolution has also changed the requirements of customers who are better informed, Google being their first consultant. They want simple answers in fast deadlines. Clients’ legal needs are evolving into turnkey solutions, which forces us to reinvent our services and the relationship with our clients. Two major implications are to be taken into account:

The first one concerns the standardization of some of our services: Regular products such as general sales conditions, company statutes, a rather simple work contract are now “standardizable”. Faced with the already active presence of online platforms with more standardized services, we can see that the client now accepts the idea of reducing some of his expectations (especially the “tailor-made” dimension) to satisfy an immediate need or constraint budget. The lawyer will have to accept this phenomenon of standardization of some of its services, because of the appearance of the digital.

The second implication relates to the phenomenon of rating benefits: It is not unlikely that in the long run, there will be indications on lawyers in relation to defined criteria as its efficiency or the respect of the budget. This notation can be unfounded, unfair or simply artificial, but it is a phenomenon inherent to the Digital. If we do not accept this phenomenon of “desecration” of certain aspects of our profession, then we will undergo this digital change rather than accompany it.
Customers have become digital consumers and are looking for more agile solutions for communication, pricing, listening and content. They are more and more demanding which has consequences on the valuation of the service, on the prices practiced and on the way the right is approached as product. The client wants to become an actor of his file and the lawyer becomes neither guide nor companion of road.
The challenge is to learn how to serve them the way they want. The need for legal advice is immense in our complex society, and machines can offer us more resources and time to put the human in the center. Too many lawyers today perceive innovation as a threat rather than an opportunity. However, it is by developing a prospective vision of its activity and refocusing on its added value that the lawyer of tomorrow will be the winner of the digital revolution. The client will no longer come to his lawyer to obtain an obscure or abstract legal answer. He will come to share a common experience with his lawyer and together they will work out the best practical solution to adopt.

3.
Therefore, the lawyer will have to change his practice. He will have to have the tools of Artificial Intelligence while remaining focused on his primary role, that of consulting. Also, measuring risks, listening, empathy, pedagogy, ethics, deontology and creativity will remain constant. Explaining the issues to the client, diagnose, and find solutions cannot be done only through a machine, the lawyer will always use his skills to know whether it is advisable to follow or not the opinion of the machine given as an indication.

Artificial Intelligence should not be seen as competing with human intelligence, but as complementary. It will always take humans to think the rules, to elaborate them, to do justice and to apply the law. Even though people have access to information, they do not have the skills to understand it. The lawyer will always be indispensable to interpret the rules of law. He also has an increasingly important role to play regarding the psychological, social and human support of his clients. An innovative lawyer does not see justice as an end but as a way to do his job better. He uses technology to rethink and improve the key elements of his business and his added value.

In France, the process of change is already well underway. Lawyers expand their field of action: they collaborate with other regulated professions, manage transversal projects, and develop innovative tools.
Emmanuel Macron initiated the movement by passing a bill in 2015 that opens the door to interprofessionality, external financing and authorization to market related goods and services on an ancillary basis. “These adaptations are at the origin of a remarkable dynamic of creation of new structures and new technological solutions “. (Stanislas van Wassenhove, Lawyer And Initiator Of The Digital Electro-Choc Conference)
In Belgium, the Bars (Avocats.be and the OVB) have created in 2016 a digital platform to put lawyers in touch with the courts and tribunals. A year later, young lawyers launched the Incubateur.legal to educate lawyers about new technologies and innovation;
In addition, the European Incubator of the Brussels Bar (INCUEBRUX), which aims to complement the incubator of the O.B.F.G, has just been created. This incubator, which wanted to be mixed and international, has for mission to ensure the training and the information of the lawyers of the bar of Brussels on the technological developments which concern them, to be a place of exchanges and debates on the modernization and the reform of the legal profession, to act to ensure that the bar is committed to the digital revolution in accordance with its values and to federate European initiatives on technological innovation and its implications for the profession. Several projects are already in preparation (http://www.incubateur.brussels).

4.
In conclusion, the developments in artificial intelligence offer the lawyer new perspectives to manage knowledge, organize data, and anticipate the outcome of litigation through predictive tools and thus free up time to accentuate its advisory role.

Beyond certain prerequisites (finance, IT, communication, project management), the lawyer will open by developing his human and relational skills: listening, empathy, acceptance of failure, creativity, agility, adaptability, management of emotions, letting go and sharing experience. Emphasis will be on well-being rather than know-how.

For lawyers, being interested in innovation, not only technological but also economic, managerial and societal is a prerequisite for the necessary transformation to ensure the sustainability of the essence of the legal profession: to defend and advise the human.

Some people think that the technique is neutral and that everything depends on the way users control it. Others, highlight the dangers of any technical progress, including digital. Without wanting to be able to decide this debate, we can highlight the following certainties:

o Digital technology can make people aware of their legal needs and contribute to the knowledge of the law, which is an essential element of the rule of law.

o For professionals, the eruption of digital is a threat because the benefits become interchangeable, and are judged by customers only in terms of price, which becomes the main criterion of choice.

o Digital represents a world of opportunities: by breaking down the barrier of inaccessibility, it makes it possible to come into contact with non-consumers and thus gain a lot in productivity. Similarly, getting rid of tedious, non-value-added tasks also increases productivity.

As an indication, here are the digital proposals from the report by Kami Haeri, a lawyer at the Paris Bar, on “the future of the legal profession”:
o Develop a culture of innovation, integrating the concept of entrepreneurial risk into the lawyer’s learning;
o Sensitize law firms to new offers for their clients, including the provision of “intelligent forms”, general legal information (“freemium” offers);
o Sensitize law firms to develop a branding strategy that goes beyond the name of the founders and ensures the firm’s outreach through other forms of brand expression;
o Introduce in the management of firms, new practices and new tools borrowed from the world of business: develop work in project mode, assign assignments to younger employees in the development of the firm, set regular interviews and, in any event bi-annual;
o Professionalize the management of firms, favoring the management of non-lawyer firms, such as secretaries general.
In short, lawyers are experts at controlling the risks of their clients and they have developed sharp specializations. The skills of excellence must today be coupled with the skills identified as those of the future by the last Davos Economic Forum: an entrepreneurial attitude, a listening posture, open to project management and multidisciplinarity as well as collaborative methods.

Patrick Conrads

Partner

Key Legal Law Firm

English version developed in collaboration with prof. Philipp Zurkinden and Olivier Raynaud

Electrochoc Numérique version francophone format pdf [1]

INTERNET SOURCES :
http://www.justice.gouv.fr/publication/rapport_kami_haeri.pdf https://www.lecho.be/actualite/archive/L-avocat-3-0-augmente-par-la-technologie-libere-descarcans-du-passe-et-forme-a-l-humain/9961894 https://revuedesjuristesdesciencespo.com/2017/03/07/lavenir-de-la-profession-davocat-entretienavec-maitre-kami-haeri/
http://www.lalibre.be/economie/digital/la-french-tech-veut-rayonner-a-bruxelles588e24bacd70e747fb663703
https://www.incubateurbxl.eu/
http://openlaw.fr/index.php?title=Open_Law,_le_Droit_Ouvert https://blockchainfrance.net/2016/01/28/applications‐smart‐contracts/ http://www.coindesk.com/ipo‐and‐insurance‐projects‐win2000‐at‐blockchain‐hackathon/ http://www.rossintelligence.com/
http://www.lemonde.fr/pixels/article/2016/05/27/une-intelligence-artificielle-fait-son-entree-dansun-cabinet-davocats_4927806_4408996.html
http://www.dayone-consulting.com/fr-actualites-paris/etude-lpo-lexternalisation-des-prestationsjuridiques-2/

January 13

Memories

Conference in Tbilisi, November 2018

Seminar of experts in Bern, October 2018

Conference in Almaty, June 2018

Memorandum of Understanding between AEA-EAL and AIJA, Brussels, August 2018

Meeting with Prince Philipp, November 2000

January 3

Commission proposal on working conditions

The European Commission has adopted on December 20, 2017 a proposal for a new Directive for more transparent and predictable working conditions across the EU. This proposal will complete and modify the current Directive 91/533/EEC. The Commission’s proposal complements and modernises existing obligations to inform each worker of his or her working conditions and creates new minimum standards to ensure that all workers,benefit from more predictability and clarity as regards their working conditions.

More concretely, the Commission aims to reduce the risk of insufficient protection of workers by:
• Aligning the notion of worker to the case-law of the European Court of Justice. Consequently, this Directive would ensure that the same broad categories of workers will be covered.
• Bringing within the scope of the Directive forms of employment that are now often excluded. This includes domestic workers, marginal part-time workers or workers on very short contracts, and extends to new forms of employment, such as on-demand workers, voucher-based workers and platform workers.
• Ensuring that workers are provided with an updated and extended information package directly at the start of employment from day one.
• Creating new minimum rights, such as the right to greater predictability of work for those working mostly with a variable schedule, the possibility to request transition to a more stable form of employment and receive a reply in writing, or the right to mandatory training without deduction from salary.
• Reinforcing the means of enforcement and redress as a last resort to resolve possible disagreements, should dialogue not be sufficient.
The proposed Directive would need to adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, and be implemented by the Member States, either through legislation or by social partners’ collective agreements.

January 3

Antitrust: cheaper imports of beer into Belgium

The European Commission has informed Anheuser – Bush InBev on November 30, 2017 of its preliminary view that the company has abused its dominant position on the Belgian beer market, by hindering cheaper imports of its Jupiler and Leffe beers from the Netherlands and France into Belgium.
Anheuser-Busch InBev SA (AB InBev) is the world’s biggest beer brewer, with a very strong position on the Belgian beer market. Its most popular beer brands in Belgium are Jupiler and Leffe. AB InBev also sells these last two brands in the Netherlands and France. The Commission’s investigation has shown that in these two countries AB InBev sells Jupiler and Leffe at lower prices than in Belgium due to the increased competition it faces there. The Commission’s preliminary view, outlined in its Statement of Objections, is that AB InBev is dominant on the Belgian beer market.
In particular, the Commission is concerned by a number of AB InBev business practices, which have been in place since at least 2009 :
• AB InBev changed the packaging of Jupiler and Leffe beer cans in the Netherlands and France to make it harder to sell them in Belgium ;
• AB InBev limited access of Dutch retailers to key products and promotions, in order to prevent them from bringing less expensive beer products to Belgium ;
The Commission’s preliminary view is that these practices have created anti-competitive obstacles to trade and partitioned the EU’s Single Market along national borders. If confirmed, this would infringe Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) that prohibits the abuse of a dominant market position.
The sending of a Statement of Objections does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation

January 3

Judgment in Case C-230/16 Coty v Akzente

Coty Germany sells luxury cosmetic goods in Germany. In order to preserve their luxury image, it markets certain of its brands via a selective distribution network, that is to say, through authorised distributors. The sales locations of those authorised distributors must comply with a number of requirements relating to their environment, décor and furnishing. Furthermore, authorised distributors are allowed to sell the goods in question online, provided that they use their own electronic shop window or non-authorised third-party platforms, at the condition that the use of such platforms is not discernible to the consumer. By contrast, they are expressly prohibited from selling the goods online via third-party platforms which operate in a discernible manner towards consumers.

By its judgment of December 6, 2017 the Court, referring to its settled case-law :

1) states first of all that a selective distribution system for luxury goods, designed primarily to preserve the luxury image of those goods, does not breach the prohibition of agreements, decisions and concerted practices laid down in EU law,

2) provided that the following conditions are met:

(i) resellers are chosen on the basis of objective criteria of a qualitative nature, laid down uniformly for all potential resellers and not applied in a discriminatory fashion;
(ii) the criteria laid down must not go beyond what is necessary.

Next, the Court finds that the prohibition of agreements, decisions and concerted practices, laid down in EU law:

1) does not preclude a contractual clause prohibiting authorised distributors of a selective
distribution network of luxury goods designed, primarily, to preserve the luxury image of those goods from using, in a discernible manner, third-party platforms for internet sales of the goods in question.

2) provided that the following conditions are met:

(i) that clause has the objective of preserving the luxury image of
the goods in question;
(ii) it is laid down uniformly and not applied in a discriminatory fashion
(ii) it is proportionate in the light of the objective pursued.