The final draft of the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Lawyers will appear in 2024

13:34 Tue 06.02.24 175 Reviews

The Committee of Experts on the Protection of Lawyers presented the text of the draft Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Lawyers. The document is being prepared for approval by stakeholders. The final version should be developed by the end of the year.

From January 30 to February 1, Strasbourg (France) hosted the seventh meeting of the Committee of Experts on the Protection of Lawyers (CJ-AV), which operates under the Committee of Ministers and the European Committee on Legal Cooperation (CDCJ) of the Council of Europe. The event was attended by Valentyn Gvozdiy, vice president of the UNBA, who is the vice president of the CJ-AV and one of the developers of the document.

During the meeting, the participants reviewed and agreed on the draft Convention and its explanatory note.

The future international treaty establishes a set of minimum standards applicable to the right of a lawyer to freely exercise his or her professional activity, as well as to protect and ensure the independence of the profession. In addition, it establishes a certain monitoring mechanism.

Further consultations with stakeholders are planned. According to Mr. Gvozdiy, these consultations will be held in two stages. The first stage involves familiarization with the document by the relevant committees and working bodies of the Council of Europe. At the second stage, CJ-AV will hold discussions with leading bar organizations. The results of the consultations will form the basis for finalizing the document. CJ-AV is tasked with finalizing the draft by December 31, 2024.

«The active involvement of Ukraine in the work on the draft Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Advocates by the European institution can be regarded as a recognition of the quality of legal regulation of the legal profession in our country, said vice president of the UNBA. - The reform of the institution was carried out in 2012 in strict accordance with European recommendations. Even the Venice Commission recognized this at the time. Therefore, the elements of the Ukrainian model may well be borrowed to determine the standards of protection of the profession at the European level».

As a reminder, in 2020, the CDCJ explored possible measures to ensure the protection of lawyers. One of them was to be a new legal instrument based on the Committee of Ministers' Recommendation R(2000)21 on the freedom to exercise the profession of lawyer, the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. In order to implement the developments, in 2022, the CJ-AV was formed as part of the CDCJ, which included 15 specialists from all over Europe, including Ukraine. They prepared the draft Convention.

It is expected that the Convention will be open for ratification by countries that are not members of the Council of Europe, which will make it an integral part of their legislation.

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