MEDITERRANEAN BARS MEETING – Ragusa, 12-14 April 2018

The FBE’s MEDITERRANEAN BARS MEETING brings together lawyers from the four shores of the Mediterranean. The Assize was held on April 13 and delegates came from Lebanon in the east, from Tunisia and Morocco in the south, from Portugal, Spain, France and Italy in the north. There were also lawyers from northern Europe, including the United Kingdom, Belgium and Germany.

The Assize was organized by the FBE Mediterranean Commission (FBEMC) leaded by President Giorgio Assenza, Vice President Dominique Attias, Secretary Omar Abbouzzohour (Secretary of FBEMC) and with the coordination of Yves Oschinsky (Past President FBE) and Michele Lucherini ( Vice President FBE). A decisive role was played by the Ragusa Bar Association.

The conference was about the European settlement rules; the services of lawyers; the rules of common deontology; the social security management of Moroccan workers in the province of Ragusa; social security protection for workers in the agricultural sector; the possibilities of investment in the Mediterranean; the lawyers as a support for companies and investments; the establishment of persons and particularly retired people.

Particular attention was focused to the analysis of the situation in France concerning the Macron bill on justice and the situation in Lebanon (see resolutions).

It was a memorable event for the accuracy of the scientific program and the in-depth contribution of the speakers.

FBE in Exeter in favour of the Legal profession

President Michele Lucherini and Past President Sara Chandler attended the Legal Sunday events in Exeter on 9th  and 10th  June.

The assembled judges, lawyers, Sheriffs, Mayors and officials of the counties and cities of Devon, Somerset, Cornwall, Dorset and Wiltshire were addressed by the High Sheriff of Devon, and Her Honour Justice May, both women talking about justice and the rule of law.

President of FBE underlined the importance of Devon and Somerset Law Society in improving the international culture of Lawyers for the defence of the rights and justice.

Election of the Presidency for 2018-2019

The FBE’s General Assembly on May 19th, 2018 has elected the new Presidency for the year 2018-2019.

Michele Lucherini (IT – Lucca) is the new President; Silvia Giménez-Salinas Colomer (ES – Barcelona), the first Vice President; Dominique Attias (FR – Paris), the second Vice President; Monique Stengel (FR – Paris) is the new Treasurer; Charles Kaufhold (Luxembourg), the General Secretary.

Special thanks to the Secretaries Marta Cuadrada and Philippe Loew; to the out-coming President, Sara Chandler and the out-coming Treasurer, Christoph Munz.

A special recognition to Izabela Konopacka (PL – Wroclaw), for her commitment in the FBE.

NAPOLI, 2018, march 16th – “Right and Freedom. The role and challenges of the lawyer in the society of the third millennium. Toward a new Manifesto di Napoli of the lawyers”

The Ordine di Avvocati di Napoli held a very successful international meeting on several topics of particular interest under the title: “Right and Freedom. The role and challenges of the lawyer in the society of the third millennium. Toward a new Manifesto di Napoli dell’avvocatura”.

Members of the FBE spoke, including Yves Oschinsky (Past President), Sara Chandler (President), Michele Lucherini (VicePresident) and Iza Konopacka (President New Technologies Commission).

The second  Manifesto di Napoli of the Lawyers was drafted at that meeting, then approved by the FBE general meeting in Bologna in May 2018.

Thanks to Michel Benichou, Luis Martì Mingarro, Aldo Bulgarelli and Alessandro Senatore.

Michele Lucherini gave a report on the European Statute of Lawyers and Bars.

FBE & Barcelona Bar – Festivities of San Raimon de Penyafort, 2018, February 23rd

The annual Festivities of San Raimon de Penyafort always include a morning workshop: the Trobades in memory of Jaques Henry that is run by the Barcelona Bar for the FBE.

The scientific program was about “TRADE SECRETS: PROTECTION AND ENFORCEABILITY”.

Speakers included lawyers from the USA, Sud America, Asia and all over Europe. President Sara Chandler introduced the theme “Trade Secrets”.

The EU Directive which is being introduced will give greater protection.

JOINT MEETING FBE and CCBE – Brussels 25 january 2018

On 25 January the Presidency of the FBE met, for the second time, with the new Presidency of the CCBE.

This meeting is now a regular event in the calendars of both organisations. In addition to a useful exchange of views, the FBE expressed support for the CCBE initiative on the draft Code for the Profession of European Lawyer.

It was agreed to hold a joint congress in September 2019 in Lisbon about “Self regulation”.

CCBE and FBE Joint Statement on the Rule of Law

The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) represents national European bars and law societies in their common interests before European and other international institutions.  CCBE membership includes the bars and law societies of 45 countries from the European Union, the European Economic Area, and wider Europe. 

The Federation of European Bars (FBE) represents local bars and law societies in their common interests. FBE membership includes local bars and law societies of 47 Council of Europe member states.

The CCBE and the FBE focus on rule of law issues and promote the rule of law. This requires an independent judiciary which is free from undue political interference, guaranteed access to justice and fair trial procedures. The right of access to an independent court is one of the primary elements underpinning the legal systems of states. 

The rule of law is one of the common values upon which the European Union is founded. It is enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union. Respect for the rule of law ensures trust in each other’s judicial systems and enables judges and practitioners to cooperate and trust each other across borders. This principle of mutual trust has contributed a great deal to the EU integration process. 

The mutual trust is of fundamental importance in the construction of a European Union Area of Freedom, Security and Justice that includes judicial cooperation in criminal matters based on mutual recognition of judicial decisions. The CCBE and the FBE are aware of how threats to the rule of law have real implications on this mutual trust.  

In 2017 the CCBE and the FBE communicated to President Andrzej Duda of Poland that violating or threatening the autonomy and independence of courts is not only an internal problem for Poland. It has consequences for the international legal community, as well as directly impacting the application of European Union law.  

In this respect, the CCBE and the FBE are following recent developments whereby the Irish High Court has asked the Court of Justice of the European Union to rule on whether the changes to Poland’s judiciary undermines its independence and jeopardises cooperation between Members States on the European Arrest Warrant. The question has been referred to the Court of Justice as the fundamental right to a fair trial cannot be guaranteed in Poland due to its system of justice no longer operating under the rule of law.   

The European Arrest Warrant Framework Decision of June 2002 was the first example of a mutual recognition instrument in criminal law matters.  The conclusions of the Tampere European Council in October 1999 recognised mutual recognition based on mutual trust as the cornerstone of judicial cooperation within the European Union.  Today, we are seeing how violations of the rule of law can have a real impact upon mutual trust, and as a consequence the principle of mutual recognition and judicial cooperation.     

Independent justice systems are essential in upholding the rule of law and ensuring confidence and trust in judicial systems. Without this confidence and trust the principle of mutual recognition as the basis for judicial cooperation will no longer function.  The CCBE and the FBE urge that all measures are taken to ensure the existence of an independent judiciary free from undue political interference, to ensure access to justice and fair trial procedures and to ensure respect for the rule of law. 


Wspólne oświadczenie CCBE i FBE w sprawie praworządności i zasady wzajemnego uznawania orzeczeń.

 Rada Adwokatur i Stowarzyszeń Prawniczych Europy CCBE to organizacja, która troszcząc się o wspólne interesy prawników reprezentuje europejskie krajowe samorządy i stowarzyszenia prawnicze przed europejskimi i innymi instytucjami międzynarodowymi. Do CCBE należą samorządy i stowarzyszenia prawnicze z 45 krajów Unii Europejskiej, Europejskiego Obszaru Gospodarczego i pozostałych krajów w Europie.

Federacja Adwokatur Europejskich FBE to organizacja, która troszcząc się o wspólne interesy prawników reprezentuje lokalne samorządy i stowarzyszenia prawnicze. Do FBE należą lokalne samorządy i stowarzyszenia prawnicze z 47 państw członkowskich Rady Europy.

W swojej działalności CCBE i FBE koncentrują się na kwestiach praworządności i promują jej zachowywanie. Praworządność wymaga istnienia niezależnego wymiaru sprawiedliwości, który byłby wolny od nadmiernej ingerencji polityków, oraz gwarancji dostępu do wymiaru sprawiedliwości i rzetelnego procesu sądowego. Prawo dostępu do niezależnego sądu jest jednym z podstawowych filarów systemów prawnych państw.

Stosownie do art. 2 Traktatu o Unii Europejskiej, praworządność stanowi jedną ze wspólnych wartości, na których opiera się Unia Europejska. Poszanowanie praworządności zapewnia zaufanie do wymiaru sprawiedliwości innych krajów i pozwala sędziom oraz pozostałym praktykom zawodu współpracować ze sobą i obdarzać się wzajemnym zaufaniem, które wykracza poza granice rodzimego kraju. Zasada wzajemnego zaufania w znacznym stopniu przyczyniła się do procesu integracji Unii Europejskiej.

Wzajemne zaufanie ma fundamentalne znaczenie w tworzeniu Przestrzeni wolności, bezpieczeństwa i sprawiedliwości Unii Europejskiej (UE), która obejmuje współpracę sądową w sprawach karnych zasadzoną na wzajemnym uznawaniu orzeczeń sądowych. CCBE i FBE są świadome konsekwencji, jakie dla wzajemnego zaufania mogą mieć okoliczności, w których praworządność zostaje zagrożona.

W 2017 roku CCBE i FBE zwróciły uwagę prezydenta Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej Andrzeja Dudy na fakt, że sytuacja, w której naruszone lub podważone zostają autonomia i niezawisłość sądów nie stanowi wyłącznie wewnętrznego problemu Polski. Ma ona również konsekwencje dla międzynarodowej wspólnoty prawniczej i bezpośrednio wpływa na stosowanie prawa Unii Europejskiej.

Stosownie, CCBE i FBE przyglądają się ostatnim wydarzeniom, kiedy to irlandzki Sąd Najwyższy wystąpił do Trybunału Sprawiedliwości Unii Europejskiej o wydanie orzeczenia, czy zmiany w polskim systemie sądowniczym skutkują naruszeniem niezależności sądów i wystawiają na szwank współpracę państw członkowskich w zakresie europejskiego nakazu aresztowania. Wniosek został skierowany do Trybunału Sprawiedliwości ze względu na fakt, że w Polsce nie jest gwarantowane fundamentalne prawo do rzetelnego procesu sądowego, gdyż polski wymiar sprawiedliwości nie funkcjonuje już w oparciu o zasadę praworządności.

Decyzja ramowa Rady z czerwca 2002 r. w sprawie europejskiego nakazu aresztowania stanowiła pierwszy przykład dokumentu dot. wzajemnego uznawania orzeczeń sądowych w sprawach karnych. We wnioskach z posiedzenia Rady Europejskiej w Tampere w października 1999 r. określono zasadę wzajemnego uznawania jako podstawę współpracy w zakresie wymiaru sprawiedliwości w ramach Unii Europejskiej. Obecnie widzimy w jaki sposób sytuacje naruszenia praworządności mogą mieć realny wpływ na wzajemne zaufanie i, w konsekwencji, na zasadę wzajemnego uznawania orzeczeń i współpracę sądową.

Niezależne systemy sprawiedliwości są niezbędne do utrzymania praworządności i zapewnienia zaufania i pewności w odniesieniu do wymiaru sprawiedliwości. Bez tego zaufania i pewności zasada wzajemnego uznawania, na której opiera się współpraca sądowa, nie będzie już miała zastosowania. CCBE i FBE wzywają do podjęcia wszelkich działań koniecznych do zapewnienia istnienia niezależnego wymiaru sprawiedliwości, wolnego od nadmiernej ingerencji polityków, do zapewnienia dostępu do wymiaru sprawiedliwości i rzetelnego procesu sądowego, a także do zapewnienia poszanowania praworządności.


Opening of the legal year – Milano 2018

The opening of the Milan legal year was held on 27 January and the formal ceremonies were attended by Michele Lucherini (FBE Vice President) and Sara Chandler (FBE President) and Iza Konopacka (FBE New Technology Commission President).

A conference on Artificial Intelligence was held on 26 January and speakers included Sara Chandler and Iza Kopopacka. There was concern raised about AI and how it might reduce the job opportunities for young lawyers, however it is clear that there are algorithms which are already assisting lawyers in devising quicker and cheaper legal services. There was discussion of how AI might also replace judges and this was seen as highly controversial.

Resolution on the lack of recognition of any same-sex unions in Bulgaria – Bologna, 19.05.18

The General Assembly of the European Bars Federation (FBE) in Bologna 19 May 2018, which represents 250 member Bars of Europe and their 1 million member lawyers, expressed its grave concerns for the situation in Bulgaria in relation to the lack of recognition of any same-sex unions and the need to provide a high standard of protection against all forms of violence and discrimination against women.

In accordance with the FBE constant position and responsibility for protection of human rights of every single individual, any violation of the right to respect for private and family life is breaking the rules of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. 

FBE reminds that the ECtHR has established a positive obligation upon member states of Council of Europe to ensure a specific legal framework providing for the recognition and protection of same-sex unions.

Furthermore all forms of violence and discrimination against women have to be prevented, prosecuted and eliminated as it is foreseen by the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, signed in Istanbul in 2011 (Istanbul Convention).


REQUEST the Bulgarian authorities to establish a legal framework providing the recognition and the protection of same-sex unions.

SUPPORT the statement of the Supreme Bar Council of Bulgaria about the need of ratification of the Istanbul Convention.

REQUEST the Bulgarian authorities to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, signed in Istanbul in 2011 (Istanbul Convention).