FBE Young Lawyers Human Rights Competition 2-3 September 2022 – Topic « War Crimes »

WHERE?

In Bilbao, Spain 

WHEN?

September 2-3 2022

WHO?

Lawyers and Law Students under 35 years of age

WHY?

The Competition is a great opportunity to:

•        practice and improve oratory skills

•        learn to present a case to an international audience of lawyers

•        develop legal English and general oral English skills

•        meet with lawyers from jurisdiction across Europe

•        enjoy Bilbao

THE ORGANIZATION

The Competition is organized by the European Bars Federation FBE Human Right Commission and will be hosted by the Bilbao Bar.

WHAT YOU WILL DO

Prepare a 10 minutes speech on: “War Crimesto be presented to an International Jury in Bilbao with other participants from different countries.

If selected amongst the four best contestants, defend a position against an opponent on another topic the following day.

HOW TO APPLY

Applications should be completed on the accompanying form and approved by the sending Bar Association. Please contact your Bar and send your application to the relevant person. The form must then be sent to fbehumanrightscompetition@gmail.com by 12.00 midday on 16 August 2022

THE RESULTS OF THE 2ND STAGE OF THE FBE INTERNATIONAL LEGALTECH COMPETITION “E-ACCESS TO JUSTICE”

On June 22, 2022, at the Attorneys’ Training Center in Sofia (and simultaneously online through Zoom) took place the final of the International LegalTech Competition “E-Access to Justice” organized by the FBE with the great support of the Sofia Bar Association and the Attorneys’ Training Center.

During the event, the Finalists of the competition presented their ideas on the application of modern technology in the justice system and the development of new and innovative judicial and non-judicial dispute resolution processes. The presentations were heard and assessed by the jury of international experts in the field of LegalTech: Bas Martens (FBE Presidency), Izabela Konopacka (FBE Presidency), Simone Cuomo (CCBE Secretary General), Martin Sacleux (CCBE IT Law Committee), and Agnieszka Poteralska (FBE NT Commission).

The first Finalist, Beatriz Juarrero Olaizola representing Bilbao Bar Association (Spain) presented the topic “E-Justice and Blockchain in the Legal System”. She explained what is the main role of the decentralized network and how it is possible to adapt this innovative technology in the area of law.

Then, Yizhaq Kricheli from Welexit (representing the Barreau de Bruxelles [ordre français], Belgium) spoke about “Making legal services transparent and accessible to all layers of society”. He presented a self-created application that helps in finding a lawyer who specializes in the relevant branch of law and practices in the near vicinity.

Finally, the representative of the third Finalist, StickLex (representing Supreme Advocacy Council, Poland), presented their digital platform that supports solving complex legal problems. The application helps clients in specialized cases on the border of law and narrow specialization in other areas, by connecting the clients with specialists from multiple industries/niches in online meetings to enable them to find the most effective solution for a given problem.

The FBE New Technologies Commission is proud to announce that the winners of the International LegalTech Competition “E-Access to Justice” are: Yizhaq Kricheli, Maor Benzvi, Nikolay Marinov from Welexit representing the Barreau de Bruxelles [ordre français], Belgium. The second place was taken by Daniel Woźniak, Rafał Wrzecionek and Mateusz Styburski from StickLex, and the third – by Beatriz Juarrero Olaizola.

Congratulations! Thank you for inspiring us! We would also like to express our gratitude to the Jurors for allowing the Finalists and the audience to benefit from their profound knowledge and extensive legal experience. We are desired to express our sincerest thanks to all those who contributed to the success of the competition. See you in the next edition of the International LegalTech Competition!

2nd stage of the International LegalTech Competition

We are pleased to inform that on June 22, 2022 at 4 pm (GMT+3) the International LegalTech Competition « E-Access to Justice » organized by the FBE New Technologies Commission will take place at the Attorneys’ Training Center in Sofia (Bulgaria). During the event, the Finalists of the Competition will present their presentations to the jury. The task of the contestants will be to demonstrate how the digitalization of justice may increase the efficiency of the legal system and facilitate access to justice.

The event will be organized in a hybrid form:

– onsite at the Attorneys’ Training Center in Sofia, and

– online through Zoom (please find below the link, meeting and passcode of the meeting)

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84290643412?pwd=MWtmZ1MzbmZKdHNUMHA5SmlQZTJrdz09

Meeting ID: 842 9064 3412

Passcode: 615032

Everyone is invited to participate in the event and witness the presentations of the Finalists of the Competition!

More about the Finalists: http://www.fbe.org/results-of-the-1st-stage-of-the-international-legal-tech-competition-e-access-to-justice-2/

More about the Competition: http://www.fbe.org/international-legaltech-competition/ The FBE New Technologies Commission would like to sincerely thank the Sofia Bar Association and the Attorneys’ Training Center for the support in organizing the event.

Academic Conference on Mediation – Barcelona, June 10 and 11, 2022

The European Group of Magistrates for Mediation (GEMME) and the ADR Center of the Barcelona Bar Association (ICAB) have jointly organized an Academic Conference on Mediation, which will take place at the ICAB, between June 10 and 11, 2022.

GEMME, founded in 2003, is a European association of judges, magistrates and legal and mediation professionals whose main objective is to promote alternative dispute resolution methods, especially mediation, from the Courts.

This conference will bring together the most prominent experts in mediation at the European level, and they will discuss, from different perspectives, various aspects of this method of conflict resolution.

REGISTRATION

https://www.icab.es/es/formacion/cursos/Jornadas-de-Mediacion-GEMME-ICAB-Judicatura-y-Abogacia-para-la-resolucion-pacifica-de-los-conflictos/

FBE Internship Programme

The Legal Education Commission of the European Bars Federation (FBE) has created an internship programme for young lawyers to facilitate practical training in a European law firm within the FBE framework.

Results of the 1st stage of the International Legal Tech Competition « E-Access to Justice »

We are pleased to announce the results of the 1st stage of the International Legal Tech Competition « E-Access to Justice ».

Seven applications were submitted for the first stage of the competition (a total of 14 participants sent their presentations/videos on this year’s topic of the Competition, e-Access to Justice). All of them represent a high professional level, introducing new technologies and innovation into the European justice system.

The submitted applications were as follows [name(-s) of the participant(-s), the topic of the presentation, Bar Association, country]:

1. Beatriz Juarrero Olaizola, « E-Justice and Blockchain in the Legal System » (Ilustre Colegio de la Abogacía de Bizkaia, Spain)

2. Daniel Woźniak, Rafał Wrzecionek, Mateusz Styburski, « StickLex – Digital platform that solves complex law problems » (Supreme Advocacy Council, Poland)

3. Jeannette Valle Caballero, « Advanced Digital Signature » (lustre Colegio de la Abogacía de Bizkaia, Spain)

4. Michał Małas, Izabela Tutur-Dudek, « E-repository for court files » (National Assembly of Attorneys-at-law, Poland)

5. Maciej Białas, Maciej Bieszczad i Sebastian Bechcicki, « E-ducation as an access key to E-Justice » (Wrocław Bar Association of Attorneys-at-Law, Poland)

6. Yizhaq Kricheli, Maor Benzvi, Nikolay Marinov, « Making legal services transparent and accessible to all layers of society » (Barreau de Bruxelles, Belgium)

7. Aleksandra Tomaszek, « E-Access to Justice » (Cracow Bar Council, Poland)

We would like to thank all participants for their LegalTech enthusiasm and for contributing to the success of the Competition.

After a thorough evaluation of all submitted applications, three Finalists were chosen. These are:

1. Beatriz Juarrero Olaizola, « E-Justice and Blockchain in the Legal System » (Ilustre Colegio de la Abogacía de Bizkaia, Spain)

2. Daniel Woźniak, Rafał Wrzecionek, Mateusz Styburski, « StickLex – Digital platform that solves complex law problems » (Supreme Advocacy Council, Poland)

6. Yizhaq Kricheli, Maor Benzvi, Nikolay Marinov, « Making legal services transparent and accessible to all layers of society » (Barreau de Bruxelles, Belgium)

Congratulations!!

Now it’s time for the second stage of the Competition! In accordance with the Terms and Conditions of the Competition, the Finalists will present their topics to the jury during the FBE General Congress in Sofia (Bulgaria). The presentation time cannot exceed 15 minutes. The Jury may ask the Finalists questions regarding the presentation.

FBE International Contract Competition – Bilbao, 10th and 11th of June 2022

Dear Members, dear colleagues,

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most of our events and competitions were postponed until the situation allowed its correct implementation. However, as the situation has improved greatly, the FBE has been holding back some important events that are part of the identity and nature of this organization.

In this regard, one of our flagship projects, the FBE International Contract Competition, will be held back again this summer between June 10th and June 11th in Bilbao, Spain. As you may know, this competition is an educational event in which young lawyers from different jurisdictions meet each other to simulate an international commercial contact case.

We believe that these competitions are fundamental for our organization as they improve the relations between lawyers and enhance international cooperation skills in the field of law. All members of the FBE are invited to participate in this competition by sending up several participants from their Bar Associations. The competition, consisting of two rounds, will put into action the teams from different jurisdictions, in a unique European environment.

In this regard, the Bilbao Bar Association and the Madrid Bar Association, co-organizers of the ICC, will be thrilled to count on the highest number of teams possible. We kindly ask you to share this type of competition among your members, as we believe they represent a unique manner for young lawyers to put into practice their negotiation skills.

You will find attached the Terms of Conditions with all the details.

Thank you very much.

Free the Gezi defendants!

Another striking example of the absence of an independent judiciary in Turkey:

Free the Gezi defendants!

The verdict of the Gezi Trial was handed down on 25 April 2022. This trial has been ongoing for years and is one of the most striking examples of the absence of an independent judiciary in Turkey.

The Istanbul 13th Assize Court found Osman Kavala guilty of an alleged attempt to overthrow the government pursuant to Article 312/1 of the Turkish Penal Code. He is a prominent human rights defender who has been unlawfully imprisoned since November 2017. The court ordered his detention pending an appeal in relation to this conviction, while acquitting him of the charge of espionage, and released him -on paper- for the later charge.

All the other defendants who were present before the court were sentenced to 18 years in prison on the charge of aiding the alleged attempt against the government. They include the lawyer Can Atalay, Mücella Yapıcı, Çiğdem Mater, Hakan Altınay, Mine Özerden, Tayfun Kahraman and Yiğit Ali Ekmekçi. The court went on to adopt a harsh and rarely applied order of the arrest and detention of this group of defendants. They were arrested immediately after the hearing. 

This baseless verdict contradicts the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) which found that the allegations against Osman Kavala, and the evidence relied upon by the prosecution and the court lacked proper foundation, and was politically motivated. In December 2019 the ECtHR found a violation of Article 5 and Article 18 of the ECHR in conjunction with Article 5, and called for Kavala’s immediate release. The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers (CoM) has been seeking to enforce the ECtHR’s judgment, with no success. This resulted in the CoM triggering infringement proceedings against Turkey pursuant to Article 46(4) of the Convention, a proceeding used for the  second time in the history of the CoM . The case is currently pending before the ECtHR for determination of Turkey’s compliance with Article 46(1) of the ECHR namely the obligation to implement the ECtHR’s judgments.

The verdict of the Istanbul 13th Assize Court on 22 April 2022 confirms the ongoing nature of the violations of the rights not only of Osman Kavala but also of other defendants tried under the same case file. It once again confirms the lack of independence and impartiality of the judiciary in Turkey which has been criticised by the international community, particularly since the July 2016 coup attempt and the following 2-year state of emergency period.

These systemic violations of fair trial standards in Turkey were condemned in the statement made on the occasion of the 2021 International Fair Trial Day. Turkey was chosen as the focus country of the Day due to the seriousness of the fair trial issues in Turkey. The verdict of the court on 25 April 2022 shows that Turkey is far from complying with  its human rights obligations. It is yet another example showing that the government of Turkey is determined to continue its practices and policies, undermining and systemically violating fundamental rights and freedoms and increasing the pressure on its critics across the country for the upcoming election.

The Gezi Park Protests of 2013 were peaceful protests according to the international human rights community. According to official statements, around 5 million people participated in the Gezi Park protests which lasted for months across the country.   This peaceful resistance showed the longing of a large segment of society in Turkey for a life in which democratic principles and human rights are respected. It is clear that participating in the Gezi Park Protests is protected by the fundamental rights to freedom of expression, and peaceful assembly, and association.

The Gezi Trial is the reaction of the Turkish government against those who took part in the Gezi Park Protests. The lack of legal grounds for the charges brought against the defendants is confirmed by the dissenting opinion of one of the judges of the 13th Assize Court. He stated that there was no evidence in the case file against the defendants other than unlawfully tapped phone communications. While underlining the unlawful nature of these recordings, the judge also stressed that the content of the conversations did not give enough basis to conclude that the alleged offenses were committed and to convict the defendants.

As the undersigned organisations, we share the frustration expressed by a large segment of society in Turkey against this verdict. We urge the Turkish Government to immediately release all human rights defenders who are illegally detained, including our colleague Can Atalay, and Osman Kavala who has been unlawfully deprived of his liberty for around 4.5 years. We also urge the relevant authorities to drop  all baseless charges, and that this cruel harassment through prosecution, conviction and sentencing that is ongoing against them and many others in Turkey is terminated.

We, the undersigned organisations, repeat the call made on the 14th of June 2021 by a number of prominent lawyers and human rights organisations to the authorities to implement the following steps to ensure full protection of the right to a fair trial and to create an environment enabling effective protection of its underlying principles.  We call on the government of Turkey to:

• take necessary legislative and other measures to ensure the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and end all practices constituting direct interference, pressure, or influence with respect to judicial conduct, including those from the executive;

• implement the recommendation of the numerous human rights oversight mechanisms, including the UN Human Rights Council in  its Universal Periodic Review,  and the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission, to introduce a constitutional amendment to make the Council of Judges and Prosecutors independent of the executive and ensure that their decisions are open to judicial review;

• immediately end the systematic abuse, detention and prosecution of lawyers, judges, other legal professionals, journalists, human rights defenders, opposition politicians, academics and others where there is no cogent evidence of specific criminal misconduct presented in proceedings that comply with international fair trial standards;

• guarantee and respect the principle of presumption of innocence in all criminal investigations and prosecutions;

• stop any practices preventing enjoyment of the rights protected under international human rights treaties such as freedom of expression, freedom of association and peaceful assembly, including using the exercise of such freedoms as grounds for arbitrary prosecutions and lengthy and punitive pretrial detention;

• ensure that the rights to fair trial embodied in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights are respected in all criminal prosecutions in Turkey’s criminal courts at all levels;

• end the practice of mass trials of lawyers, judges, journalists, opposition politicians, human rights defenders and others, in particular on fabricated charges, such as the charge of membership in a terrorist organization, aimed at preventing their legitimate activities and silencing them; and

• create an open dialogue with the international oversight mechanisms and national and international NGOs to address and resolve the structural human rights issues in Turkey and, as a first step, promptly to agree to requests by the UN Special Rapporteur on Judges and Lawyers and other special procedures to conduct country visits to Turkey. We call on the international community to respond effectively to the deteriorating state of human rights and rule of law in Turkey and to increase its efforts to effectively address these issues with international stakeholders for increased awareness and attention.

And finally,

Free the Gezi defendants!

Article 19

Asociación Americana de Juristas

Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD)

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC

Défense Sans Frontières – Avocats Solidaires (DSF-AS)

EuroMed Rights

European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights (ELDH)

European Bar Federation (FBE)

European Bar Federation Human Rights Committee

European Democratic Lawyers (AED)

Fair Trials

Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers

Giuristi Democratici

International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL)

International Bar Association’s Institute of Human Rights (IBahri)

Osservartorio Avvocati Minacciati – UCPI – Italia

Perugia Bar Association, Italy

Pistoia Bar Association, Italy

Progressive Lawyers‘ Association (ÇHD), Turkey

Republikanischer Anwältinnen- und Anwälteverein e. V. (RAV)

The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE)

The European Criminal Bar Association

The European Criminal Bar Association Human Rights Committee

The Law Society of England and Wales

The National Association of Democratic Lawyers of South Africa

The National Bar Council of France

The National Lawyers Guild International (US)

The Norwegian Bar Human Rights Committee

Ukrainian Association of Democratic Lawyers