The FBE, Fédération des Barreaux d’Europe, consists of 250 Bars, representing approximately 800,000 lawyers from the Member States of the Council of Europe.
The Commission of the Mediterranean, whose main objective is to guarantee the exchanges of lawyers on the shores of the Mediterranean, and for the social purpose of bringing together the legal traditions and practices of the Mediterranean community where law is the basis of the social project. With full recognition of the dignity of the person as the ultimate and necessary subject of the legal order, thereby helping to create spaces of peace and freedom. Consequently, given that migratory flows occur to and from both sides of the Mediterranean, forced displacement caused by various geopolitical factors and conflicts taking place in our territories and having led to the so-called refugee crisis, and therefore death, which is why the Mediterranean Commission on the occasion of the “Assisses de la Méditerranée” held in Marrakech from 9 to 11 March 2017 wishes to make the following statement, in order to serve as a road map for all independent lawyers who defend the human rights of migrants, with the aim of emphasizing the importance of fundamental and human rights and freedoms and of the rule of law in the area of the right to migration and to call upon all States and all international organizations of lawyers to respect the following rights, principles and obligations:
1. Among the aims of the Mediterranean Commission are the defence of the rule of law, the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as the right of access to justice.
2. Migration, whether regular or irregular, presents challenges common to all Member States of this commission, issues that cover a wide range of rights and legislation, including, inter alia, human rights and humanitarian law, criminal law, Labour law, family law and administrative law.
3. All Member States must defend and guarantee access to the rights and dignity of migrants, including legal assistance, the right of access to the courts and legal representation enabling access to an effective remedy. This right of access to justice must be exercised on the same terms as nationals of the host Member State. Legal aid must be provided at all stages of the procedure, whether administrative or judicial. Legal profession to protect migrants has a fundamental duty to ensure respect for the rights and dignity of migrants.
4. Bar associations should ensure that lawyers in charge of defending migrants receive quality and continuous training on migration and international protection.
5. Access will be ensured for migrants, in need of international protection, to asylum procedures and for compliance with the 1951 Geneva Convention establishing the Refugee Statute.
6. It shall be specifically ensured that any person who is subject to expulsion or return to another State is guaranteed access to a lawyer, procedures, an effective remedy and the application of human rights, trying to avoid collective expulsions and summaries.
7. The rights of the most vulnerable, such as minors, unaccompanied minors, persons with disabilities, the elderly, pregnant women, single parent families with minor children, victims of trafficking in human beings, Serious illness, persons with mental disorders and persons who have suffered torture, rape or other serious forms of psychological, physical or sexual violence.
And, with the hope that this declaration and its principles will be attended by those states and organizations that can boost its effectiveness, it is signed in the city of Marrakech on March 11, 2017.