The CCBE represents European bars and law societies in their common interests. In this role, it acts as a liaison between members and the European institutions, international organisations and other legal organisations around the world. The annual report, which summarises what the CCBE has been working on over the last year has been published.
Over the year, the CCBE acknowledged several important initiatives and policy proposals which were seen across the European Institutions over the year, such as the Services Package, the revision of the anti-money laundering Directive and the report from the Panama Papers Committee of Inquiry. The CCBE addressed these issues with the relevant politics actors to attempt to counter the “recurring pattern of fast judgements and oversimplification in politically sensitive issues”, and to improve the perception of the legal profession around Europe.
The committee is increasingly engaged in the discussion on the future of the legal profession, including its evolution and digitalisation (which was also chosen as the theme for European Lawyers Day, to focus on the benefits digitalisation can bring to citizens). An eBook has been published on the topic which compiles the interventions from speakers and experts at last year’s conference in Paris. They have also cooperated with the Commission on the implementation of the European Training Platform, which will give lawyers access to professional training throughout Europe and the EEA.
In addition to this work, concerns regarding the review of the EU-US privacy shield were relayed to the institutions, a third-party intervention was made before the ECtHR regarding the case on the French intelligence Act and an amicus curiae brief was submitted in the Microsoft v US case.
The migration crisis has remained a prominent cause of concern, with the CCBE dedicating teams in both Brussels and Lesvos to help establish the European Lawyers in Lesvos project as an independent organisation which has seen over 3600 people assisted in the past two years. This work will be built upon in the next year by collaborating with Oxfam.
The PECO committee has sought to further intensify ties with Central and Eastern Europe, including organising a conference in Kiev in November 2017 titled ‘Advocates’ rights and obligations in investigative proceedings’. This work also involved liaising with the Kazakhstan Bar on the development of the legal profession and Rule of Law in the country. Additionally, the CCBE has issued a joint statement with judges and journalists on the ongoing rule of law crackdown being seen in Turkey.
The full report can be found here: http://www.ccbe.eu/fileadmin/speciality_distribution/public/documents/Publications/2017_ANNUAL_REPORT.pdf