We, the representatives of the Bar Associations united in Vienna on the occasion of the 48th European Presidents’ Conference on 21 February 2020, stand together with all judges, prosecutors and lawyers, to urge the European Institutions and national authorities to make full use of the tools available in order to safeguard and restore the independence of the judiciary and the administration of justice in Europe.
We call upon the EU institutions and national authorities to maintain the strict autonomy and independence of Bars and the legal professions, including the judiciary, especially as regards disciplinary proceedings. This includes, in particular, also using expedited infringement procedures and filing applications for interim measures before the Court of Justice of the European Union.
We stress that the legal profession will not remain silent and will continue to support each other and stand united facing the current challenges of populism and infringements of the rule of law.
We express our full support to members of the Polish legal professions – targeted by repressive disciplinary measures – joined by colleagues from over 20 other European countries, raising their voices in Warsaw during the so-called “march of the 1.000 robes” in mid-January 2020.
In this context, we will gather in Brussels, Belgium, for a “march of the European Robes” between 24 and 26 June 2020, to voice in the heart of Europe, our commitment to the rule of law, the separation of powers, an independent judiciary and fundamental rights. As representatives of the Bar Associations in our countries, we invite first and foremost the wide legal family, all our fellow lawyers, judges and prosecutors to join us in order to send a strong signal.
The breaches of democracy, the rule of law and the violations of fundamental rights will not be tolerated.