It is my pleasure and honour to welcome you to the FBE website, and invite you to explore what we do to represent the interests of the members of the local bar associations and local law societies. FBE members are the grassroots of the European legal professions. We would like you to know about the work of the FBE and our commissions in which any member can participate, so please read on.
We live in challenging times for the legal profession. As European lawyers and members of international legal community we share very strong values, and I repeat the values voiced in the FBE statutes as often as possible.
We promote the supremacy of law, the independence of justice and the right to a fair trial. We stand for the defence of human rights in Europe and in the world. This we do when these principles are under threat in many jurisdictions.
We provide support for lawyers or bars who are wrongly persecuted for complying with their professional duties. We support our members when the independence of judges and lawyers is threatened. We promote the harmonisation of the profession in Europe equally in professional practice and professional ethics and we uphold the highest standards of legal competence. These are our core values.
What are the challenges we face ? We live in a time of greater awareness of the abuse of human rights in countries in many parts of the world thanks to the wide and instant accessibility of news. We cannot hide from the challenges. We see on our screens the horrors of war, the misery of refugees, and the determination of thousands who walk to freedom in our countries. We face terrorism, now becoming familiar in our own states. We face intolerance and prejudice, especially hate crime and attacks on people regarded as “other”. This has been a period of horror as we hear of more terrorism attacks in many of our countries.
Deepest of all in affecting the core of our values is the break-up of the current membership of the EU, affecting me as an English solicitor because of BREXIT.
Our family of lawyers, of bar associations, law societies and associations of legal advisers stands together to meet these challenges, and our family has demonstrated many times in the last 25 years and especially in the last year our capacity to devise and implement solutions. I have attended many meetings in many European cities, and met so many dedicated lawyers.
I am optimistic that in spite of the serious challenges we face, as lawyers we have strength together. There is much more that unites us than can possible divide us. Our dedication is to a just society, spread across the whole of Europe. If you hold these values, then the FBE is for you and you will be welcome in our Federation.
Presidente de la Federación de Colegios de Abogados de Europa