Strengthening the profession of lawyer in line with European standards in the Eastern Partnership countries

Project Description
The European Union-Council of Europe regional project aims at providing a forum for exchanges among the participating Bar Associations around the following themes:
1) independence and professionalism of lawyers;
2) the quality of legal services and their accessibility;
3) internal functioning of the Bar Associations; and
4) relations between the national Bars and professional lawyers unions/associations (including women lawyers and young lawyers associations) and relations between judges and lawyers.

It addresses these issues at the country level while bringing the Bar Associations together to exchange in the regional setting on the progress in the common areas of work. The project thus encompasses both a regional and country-specific dimension, the combination of which provides a vehicle for creating the dynamic for the necessary change in the relevant Bar Associations’ professional standards and practices beneficial for the users. In this context, the project will provide a platform for discussion on the ways and mechanisms for guaranteeing the lawyers’ independence and avoiding any influence or pressure, share international experience and raise awareness of the national Bar Associations and lawyers’ societies about the threats to the independence of the lawyers and will submit its findings and recommendations for the attention of the respective drafting group of the European Convention on the profession of lawyer.

This project is funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe in their Partnership for Good Governance II (2019-2022)
Specific Objective
Strengthened cooperation amongst the Bar associations and law societies of the participating countries, including women lawyers and young lawyers’ associations, with a view to improving the internal functioning and independence of the Bar (including stronger links between the Bar, legal professionals, judiciary and civil society, women lawyers’ and young lawyers’ associations).

Specific objectives:
1. A regional cooperation network of lawyers and Bar associations of the countries is set up to strengthen peer-to-peer cooperation amongst the Bar Associations and law societies of the participating states with the aim of contributing to proper administration of justice for the benefit of people in the participating countries
2. Internal functioning of the Bar Associations is improved
3. Independence and professionalism of lawyers are strengthened
4. Lawyers’ provision of legal services is strengthened
Expected Results
Under Specific objective 1:
- Regional dialogue between the lawyers, the national Bar associations, including young lawyers and women lawyers’ associations (when relevant), is developed, particularly in respect to strengthening the independence and professionalism of lawyers, the quality of legal services
- Regional co-operation network of the Bars and lawyers’ professional associations, including women lawyers and young lawyers, of the participating countries is established

Under specific objective 2:
- A cross-country review and analysis of the internal functioning of the Bars and their associations (situation, challenges and opportunities) is developed together with recommendations to address the gaps
- Country-specific action plans with measures to support changes in line with the agreed recommendations are developed
- The capacity of the Bar Associations to strengthen their internal institutional functioning is strengthened

Under specific objective 3:
- A cross-country review and analysis of professional standards of lawyers on independence, confidentiality and conflict of interest and recommendations issued based on best practices of Council of Europe member states to address the gaps
- Recommendations are developed on the behaviour of the lawyers and judges in the court and revision of the scope and content of rules of ethics from the perspective of personal, social and professional aspects
- The capacity of the Bar to ensure lawyers’ independence and professionalism is strengthened

Under specific objective 4:
- The capacity of the Bar to ensure lawyers’ independence and professionalism is strengthened
- Country-specific action plans with measures are developed in line with the agreed recommendations in respect of improving legal services
- The capacity of lawyers to provide more diverse, gender-sensitive and inclusive and quality legal services is strengthened
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PROJECT DETAILS
Regional
Priority Area:
Partnership that protects
Subsector:
Rule of law & human rights
Topic:
Justice, Human rights
EaP Countries:
Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine
Project Status:
Ongoing
Start Date:
01.07.2019
End Date:
28.02.2023
Implementing Organisation:
Council of Europe
Funding by the EU:
€460 000
EU Project Number:
399-648
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