Congress of Lisbon 2019

Self- regulation in the Legal Profession: Proportionality Test & Quality

 

Conclusions

What we have learned today through the very interesting discussions:

A. In applying proportionality, Bars will need to:

  • Identify the public interest objective pursued;
  • Explain why the objective is at risk giving reasons;
  • Substantiate the risk – the evidence may come from a variety of sources such as the experience of other Bars and our clients, the consumers.

B. Quality of legal services is not only about the acquisition and control of knowledge, skills, know-how or respect for procedures and deadlines, but also includes professional integrity, respect for professional ethics and good service in general.

C. In view of the discussions held at this conference:

  • Putting self-regulation at the service of quality for an essential role of bars and law societies;
  • Ensuring that self-regulation supports the development of standards and tools for quality assurance and control.

D. This way Bars and law societies will enable their members to contribute to the promotion of the rule of law and to guarantee that citizens have access to justice.

E. It is essential that Bars and law societies pursue their missions in total independence and continue to guarantee quality legal services.

F. In the context of the legal profession, bars and law societies are essential actors in ensuring the quality of the services provided by their members, and in providing access to quality defence for all citizens. This is the role played by self-regulation.

G. Self-regulation introduces behavioural duties and obligations of conduct for lawyers. and contributes, in particular, that citizens can have trust in their lawyer and that the defense of their interests and the satisfaction of their needs is at the heart of the lawyer’s role and intervention.

H. For the legal profession, self-regulation must be a constant vector of quality. The challenge is to develop a definition of quality that integrates the ethical component.

I. Bars and law societies have a decisive role to play at national level and in Europe in promoting the development of standards in order to achieve the objective of quality, and in contributing to the delivery of quality justice, in line with citizens’ expectations in modern societies.