On 24 January 2018, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), called on the Committee of Ministers to draft and adopt a European Convention on the Profession of Lawyer.

The Assembly voted in favour of drafting a European convention on the profession of lawyer, following the proposals of the rapporteur Sabien Lahaye-Battheu (Belgium, ALDE).

The parliamentarians believe that greater protection should be offered to lawyers who, in many Council of Europe member States, are victims of harassment, threats, attacks and physical violence – sometimes going as far as murder - and abuse of disciplinary proceedings.

A European convention with an effective control mechanism is necessary to protect the profession of lawyer effectively; it could also become a source of binding standards on the wider international level by allowing non-member States to accede to it. This is a major step forward in the protection of human rights and the Rule of Law. 

Through the Council of European Bars and Law Societies (CCBE), the Law Society supports the work carried out by the Council of Europe on the drafting of a European Convention on the Profession of Lawyer. The CCBE contribution was presented at a hearing before the PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights on 12 October 2017. 

The contribution of lawyers in defending the Rule of Law, ensuring access to justice and protecting fundamental human rights and freedoms is indispensable. Those who safeguard the rights of all citizens must be able to act independently and without undue interferences.

For more information, please visit the CCBE website.