The CCBE plans to become a European Advisory Body on the advocacy

Advocacy 20:08 Thu 20.02.20 285 Reviews Print

The UNBA delegation, led by UNBA and BCU Chairman, Lidiia Izovitova, attends the plenary session of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe in Vienna, marking the 60th anniversary of Europe's largest professional advocacy organization.

"Today, during the Standing Committee meeting, the plan was approved to open negotiations with the Council of Europe regarding the CCBE status as an advisory body representing the legal profession in the Council of Europe," said UNBA and BCU Deputy Chairman Valentyn Hvozdii, who is also in Vienna in UNBA delegation.

Negotiations between the CCBE and the Council of Europe will result in the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding whereby the CCBE will become the CoE's non-institutional advisory body." This will be an important step forward for the CCBE, which will be formally involved in the Council of Europe's activities in its areas of competence and will allow the CCBE to be recruited as an official representative of the legal profession of Europe," the explanatory note to the vote on the issue reads.

This work is related to the implementation of PACE Recommendation 2121 (2018) on the drafting of the European Convention on the role of the bar. Obtaining the status of an advisory body will enhance the role of the CCBE in the work of the Council of Europe on threats to the independence of the bar and the rights of lawyers and will help to shape a common approach to address these issues, in line with the strategy and priorities of the entire European bar.

The role of the CCBE in the drafting of the European Convention on the Legal Profession will also be enhanced. The contribution of the CCBE to the activities of the Council of Europe may take the form of general advice / guidance on matters of interest to the CCBE (such as the rule of law), which will enhance the value of the CCBE and the European legal profession in the member states of the Council of Europe.

The CCBE will also be able, in cooperation with the Council of Europe, to make its own contribution to the Venice Commission Rule of Law checklist for violations of the rights of advocates. "This contribution could ensure that lawyers have an effective ability to perform their professional duties without fear of repression, obstruction, intimidation or harassment as an important element in the integrity and integrity of the rule of law," reads the explanatory note.

UNBA has observer status in the CCBE and is the only organization representing the Ukrainian Advocacy.

Due to the fact that the CCBE will have a memorandum with the CoE, it is appropriate to raise the issue of granting the Ukrainian Advocacy a full membership status in the CCBE, since Ukraine is a member of the Council of Europe. This is only possible through amendments to the Statute of the CCBE, as only full membership in the CCBE can now be obtained by the legal profession of a Member State of the European Union and the Council of Europe includes more members than the EU” says Valentyn Hvozdii.

Recall that in 2019, CCBE sent 78 letters to protect the rights of lawyers in 31 countries. In 2019, the UNBA appealed to the CCEA on several cases of violations of attorneys' rights and obstacles to the activities of advocate bodies.


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