We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage to improve and customise your experience, where applicable. View our Cookies Policy. Click Accept and continue to use our website or Manage to review and update your preferences.

CCBE plea for legal instrument to protect profession
CCBE leadership Ranko Pelicarić, Margarete von Galen, James MacGuill and Panagiotis Perakis

20 Dec 2021 / rule of law Print

CCBE plea for legal means to protect profession

The CCBE has said that that attacks against the legal profession now take place in countries where a certain level of respect for the rule of law exists, including EU or Council of Europe member states.

In its end-of-year newsletter, body has reiterated its support Council of Europe work for the establishment of a new legal instrument on the profession of lawyer.

The CCBE has welcomed the recent decision of the Council of Europe to set up a new committee on the protection of lawyers to draft the new legal instrument.


The organisation believes that there is a clear need for adopting a new binding legal instrument on the profession of lawyer “accompanied by an implementation mechanism in order to guarantee the proper administration of justice and the respect of the rule of law”.

The goal of the legal instrument will be to strengthen the protection of the profession of lawyer and the right to practise the profession without prejudice or restraint.

The CCBE believes that none of the existing non-binding instruments cover comprehensively all the issues such as:

  • Freedom to choose clients,
  • Loyally respecting the interests of clients,
  • Prohibition on identifying lawyers with their clients or their clients’ causes,
  • Limitation on the duty to report on clients,
  • Independence in respect of publicly-funded work,
  • Ability to object for good cause to a judge’s conduct or participation,
  • Ability to take part in the public discussion on matters concerning the promotion and protection of human rights,
  • Taking cases to international procedures,
  • Civil and penal immunity for statements made in good faith in pleadings or professional appearances,
  • Freedom of choice in organisation of legal practice,
  • Communication and advertising,
  • The election by members of the council or executive body of lawyers’ associations,
  • The duty of authorities to adequately safeguard lawyers who are threatened or harassed,
  • Independence of the lawyer and the professional bars and law societies,
  • Need for self-governing professional bars and law societies,
  • Promotion of continuing education and training,
  • The dignity and honour of the profession,
  • Responsibilities relating to the rule of law and the administration of justice.

 The CCBE also says that there is therefore no authoritative interpretation of the standards provided in existing instruments and there are compelling reasons for adopting a new binding legal instrument.

Legal provisions

This should provide both national jurisdictions and the European Court of Human Rights with new additional specific legal provisions to which they could refer in cases concerning the legal profession.

The new binding legal instrument should be accompanied by an implementation mechanism which could consist in a complaint mechanism for non-compliance, or a system of periodic reports by the member states of the Council of Europe.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland