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About European Lawyers Day

In 2014, the CCBE introduced the idea of coordinating an annual Europe-wide event that would encourage its member bars and law societies to organise national and local activities based around a central theme to promote the rule of law, and a lawyer’s role in upholding its legal principles, to citizens. European Lawyers Day celebrates the common values of lawyers and their intrinsic role in the defence and promotion the rule of law, as well as their contribution to the justice system.

European Lawyers Day programmes and activities are organised by national and local bars, or any person or group working with a national or local bar (bar members, courts, law schools and students, youth groups, and community organisations) that would like to educate the public on the crucial role of the rule of law and the legal process in protecting citizens’ rights. Each member bar and law society is asked to encourage its members to organise events, publish educational material and/or conduct other programmes that promote citizens’ awareness of the European Lawyers Day theme.

ELD Poster 2023



Initiates file downloadfile:20905The European Lawyers’ Day (ELD) theme for 2023 is: Confidentiality of client-lawyer communications: a must for protecting your rights.

The confidentiality of exchanges between a client and their lawyer is a key element in establishing a relationship of trust that enables the client to communicate their circumstances in order to advised, represented and defended.  Clients can only receive appropriate legal advice if they can communicate openly and in confidence. 

Lawyers need the complete story regarding the client’s circumstances and the actions the client is considering. This is the only environment in which proper legal advice can be provided. 

Lawyers are required to keep this information confidential which allows individuals to feel safe in disclosing details in order to receive the most appropriate legal advice relevant to their situation.  Without this protection of confidentiality there is no genuine right to seek legal advice. If there is no genuine right to legal advice there is no genuine access to justice!  

In addition to events organised by Bars and Law Societies at a national level for ELD, the CCBE is organising an Opens external link in new windowevent on Monday 23 October from 9.00 to 16.00 (CET), in the European Parliament, Brussels. This event will be focused on “The role of the European institutions in upholding the core values of the legal profession in the administration of justice”. This event will gather high level representatives of the EU institutions, the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights. Find more information in the Opens internal link in current windowdedicated page


Information package

Poster 2023: Initiates file downloadPDF format | Initiates file downloadPNG format | Initiates file download JPEG format

Social Networks Package: Initiates file downloadPost 1 | Initiates file downloadPost 2 | Initiates file downloadPost 3 | Initiates file downloadPost 4

Initiates file downloadConfidentiality of lawyer client communications: a must for protecting your rights

Initiates file download"Confidentiality of client-lawyer communications: a shielf for citizens right" by Claudio Cocuzza

Initiates file downloadHow to promote ELD 2023


Overview of events organised by Bars and Law Societies for ELD 2023



The Czech Bar Association organised a Initiates file downloadwebinar on 26 October 2023 focused on professional secrecy. First Vice-President, Pierre-Dominique Schupp (see photo) was among the speakers at the panel discussion focusing on "The impact of EU legislation and the development of the case law of the European Courts on the legal professional privilege".




The Danish Bar and Law Society published a riveting article on this year’s theme (kindly find it Opens external link in new windowhere) and also provided a contribution on this matter for the Danish Newspaper  “Berlingske” (available Opens external link in new windowhere).

In addition, the Danish Bar and Law Society promoted the importance of lawyer-client confidentiality on their social media and shared the CCBE’s related event which took place in the European Parliament.

In honour of ELD, the Baltic and Nordic Bar Associations published a statement to express their unconditional support for Ukraine, in particular as legal professionals with regard to the sanctions against Russia.

Read the statement Opens external link in new windowhere.



The Estonian Bar Association published an interesting article in regard to this year’s theme and made several posts to raise awareness for this day on their social media (Opens external link in new windowFacebook)

Read the full article Opens external link in new windowhere.



On 25 October 2023, the Luxembourg Bar Association organised an event during which volunteer lawyers answered, free of charge, questions raised in regard to matters pertaining to family law, labour law, leases, and immigration law. 

For more information on the event, see the relevant Opens external link in new windowwebpage and social medias (Opens external link in new windowLinkedIn | Opens external link in new windowFacebook)




The Moldovan National Bar organised on 8 September 2023 their annual international conference, with this year’s ELD theme as one of the main topics.

More information can be found Opens external link in new windowhere


Subsequently, on 20 October 2023, the Moldovan National Bar also participated in the conference of the Dolj Bar of Romania on the subject of confidentiality.

Read the article on the conference Opens external link in new windowhere.


Furthermore, the Bar organised on the day of ELD a roundtable at the offices of the Moldovan Bar on this year’s theme (further details available Opens external link in new windowhere).

Moreover, on 9 November 2023, they organised an engaging bilateral conference with the German Federal Bar (BRAK), during which the topic of confidentiality was one of the main issues. 

For more information, please see Opens external link in new windowhere.




The Netherlands Bar published an article on the importance of lawyer-client confidentiality, which included interesting reflections from the CCBE Surveillance Committee Chair, Sebastian Cording, the CCBE Young Lawyers Committee Chair, Ilina-Mari Supperi, and the CCBE Criminal Law Committee Chair, Ondrej Laciak. 

Read the full article Opens external link in new windowhere.

Furthermore, the Netherlands Bar prepared an insightful Opens external link in new windowvideo on this year’s theme (available here) and also shared posts on all their social media pages to raise awareness on this matter (Opens external link in new windowFacebook | Opens external link in new windowX | Opens external link in new windowLinkedIn)




The Slovak Bar Association raised awareness of this year’s theme on their social media (Opens external link in new windowLinkedIn), and published a statement on this important matter, calling for more consistent protection of the independence of the profession, including the confidentiality of lawyer-client communication, and the strict respect for applicable laws, as well as through appropriate legislative changes to reflect international obligations.


Read the full statement Opens external link in new windowhere.


Previous European Lawyers Day

ELD Poster 2022



Following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia at the beginning of the year and its considerable impact on the populations concerned, but also more widely on Europe and the rest of the world, the theme selected for European Lawyers Day 2022 is “Making the law prevail in times of war: the role of lawyers”. This theme highlights the important role lawyers and Bars and Law Societies can play in such a context of war. It is an opportunity to shed light on the various initiatives taken by Bars and Law Societies, as well as lawyers and law firms, in reaction to humanitarian crises resulting from conflicts. It is important to recognise how lawyers safeguard individual human rights and how they represent victims of war in war crimes and crimes against humanity. Lawyers play an important role in the context of war by assisting people fleeing conflict and in search of safe haven. By being present at the borders or opening up contact points providing legal assistance to refugees, lawyers contribute to defending the right to asylum guaranteed by instruments such as the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (Article 18) or the Geneva Convention 1951. Other aspects can also be highlighted, such as the importance of family law during war situations while families are torn apart, and vulnerable adults and minors being at a heightened risk of harm, abuse, and trafficking. The role of lawyers in relation to sanctions imposed by governments in the context of war can also be underlined, both in terms of evaluating the impact of sanctions on legal services, and in relation to lawyers’ role in advising clients regarding how to comply with measures and sanctions.


Information package


Initiates file downloadPoster PNG

Initiates file downloadPoster PDF

Initiates file downloadMore information on ELD theme 2022

Initiates file downloadHow to promote ELD? 

Initiates file download"Lawyers upholding justice in times of war" by Ondrej Laciak

Initiates file download"Lawyers' role in supporting people fleeing war" by Noemí Alarcón Velasco 



Overview of events organised by Bars and Law Societies for ELD 2022


The Belgian Bar AVOCATS.BE, with the Luxembourg Province Bar, and the French-speaking Bar Association of Brussels organised a conference on 25 October 2022, on this year’s theme “Making the law prevail in times of war - the role of lawyers”. The aim of the conference was to educate young lawyers and raise awareness in the general public in regard to the role that the legal profession plays in upholding the law in times of war and the challenge they face. 

For the full programme and further information, please see the following link.



The Croatian Bar Association promoted on its website and Facebook page the article prepared by the CCBE's Criminal Law Committee Chair, ondrej Laciak, on "Lawyers upholding justice in times of war" (please find it here and under our information package section as well). In addition, an article will be published in the next issue of the Bar's magazine The Lawyer, which is being prepared by a Croatian lawyer with extensive experience in providing legal services during the times of war in the Republic of Croatia in the 1990's.



The French National Bar Council received the Head of the European Commission's representation in France, Valérie Drezet-Humez. Watch her video interview here.



David Conlan Smyth SC, member of the Inner Bar and the CCBE Irish delegation, gave a video interview to explain what is meant by the rule of law, the difference between the ICJ, ICC and ECHR, as well as how lawyers can get involved in regard to Russia’s war against Ukraine.

To watch the full interview, kindly use the following link.



The Consiglio Nazionale Forense (CNF), in cooperation with the CCBE, organised a conference on 25 October 2022 for European Lawyers Day 2022. In line with this year’s theme, the conference was "Making the law prevail in times of war: the role of lawyers" and was arranged in 2 parts. The first part highlighted the role of lawyers in relation to sanctions imposed in the context of war in terms of assessing the impact they have on the essential function of assistance and defence in court of each individual, while recognising the duty to comply with the measures taken. The second part of the conference focused on the status of Ukrainian lawyers in Ukraine and the European Union.

For more information and the detailed programme, please see the following link.



The President of the Portuguese Bar Association (Ordem dos Avogados) Luis Menezes Leitão published an opinion article in Expresso.

The article is available here.

In addition, a joint conference was organised by Ordem dos Advogados and the European Company Lawyers Association on 21 October 2022 regarding the “Challenges of Corporate Law Practice”.

More information and to watch the conference, kindly use the following link.


The Bar Association of Slovenia and the OZS Law Academy organised a conference on 24 October 2022 at the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana, on the role of lawyers in ensuring that law prevails in times of war. The main speakers at the conference were the Vice-President of the Ukrainian National Bar Association, Valentyn Gvozdiy and the Chair of the CCBE Committee “Platform for Exchange, Cooperation and Outreach” (PECO), Roman Završek. The Slovenian Bar Association (SBA) and the SBA Law Academy organised an event where Ms. Lidiya Izovitova, President of the Ukrainian National Bar Association was the keynote speaker.

Further information regarding the event is available here and here.



The Secretary-General of the Swedish Bar Association wrote an article for their Bar’s magazine, which emphasised the importance of this day and the role of lawyers in upholding a democratic rule of law.

Please find the link to the article here.



The Netherlands Bar published an article on the important role lawyers play in times of war, as well as raised awareness on their Twitter and LinkedIn social media pages.

The article is available here.


In solidarity with its European colleagues, the Azerbaijani Bar Association organised for European Lawyers Day 2022 free legal aid campaigns throughout the Republic of Azerbaijan. Within the framework of these campaigns, more than 120 citizens were provided with free legal assistance and advice, as well as relevant written applications were prepared.

More information on the campaigns is available here and here

The independence of lawyers and bars is an essential element for the legal profession to carry out its mission to properly defend citizens, including in their actions against the State, to build trust between lawyers and their clients, to preserve the rule of law and to fulfil the important and irreplaceable role to prevent the abuse of powers. The theme of European Lawyers’ Day 2021 "No justice without independent lawyers" highlighted the importance of ensuring and preserving this independence for the benefit of citizens’ rights. It was an opportunity to shed light on the attacks on lawyers which are often related to identification with their clients or client’s causes. It was also a good momentum to reiterate the need for a binding European Convention on the Profession of Lawyer in order to preserve the independence, integrity of the administration of justice and the rule of law. An online roundtable dedicated to this particular topic was organised by the CCBE with the participation of Council of Europe representatives as well as representatives of other lawyers’ organisations.

Démarre le téléchargement d'un fichierEuropean Lawyers Day Poster (pdf)

Démarre le téléchargement d'un fichierEuropean Lawyers Day Handbook (pdf)

Ouvre un lien interne dans la fenêtre couranteCCBE Human Rights portal

Ouvre un lien interne dans la fenêtre couranteCCBE webpage on a European Convention on the Profession of Lawyer


Démarre le téléchargement d'un fichierProgramme 

Démarre le téléchargement d'un fichierIntervention de Frédéric Krenc, Juge à la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme

Démarre le téléchargement d'un fichierSpeaking points of Diego García-Sayán, UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers

Démarre le téléchargement d'un fichierIntervention of Aleksandr Bashkin, Senator and, Russian Federation representative at the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the PACE

Démarre le téléchargement d'un fichierВыступление Александра Башкина, сенатора и представителя Российской Федерации в Комитете по юридическим вопросам и правам человека ПАСЕ 

Ouvre un lien externe dans une nouvelle fenêtreNews article about the interventions of Christophe Poirel, Director of Human Rights of the Council of Europe, and Christoph Henrichs, Vice-Chair of the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ) 


Overview of events organised by Bars and Law Societies for ELD 2021


On the occasion of the European Lawyers Day, the theme of which was “No justice without independent lawyers”, the Order of the French and German-speaking Bars of Belgium, the Orde van Vlaamse Balies and the Bar of Cassation organised a study afternoon at the Senate on 27 October 2021 at 2. pm. Online free participation was also possible.

The programme is available here





For European Lawyers' Day 2021, the Croatian Bar Association organised a roundtable entitled 'No justice without independent lawyers', which took place in person on Monday 25 October at 14.00 hrs at the Croatian Bar Association premises in Zagreb.  


Czech Republic

On the occasion of the European Lawyers Day 2021, the Czech Bar Association published various articles in its media - in its printed Journal Bulletin of Advocacy and an online medium www.advokatnidenik.cz

Article in an online medium on the Roundtable.

Article in a monthly published Journal - Bulletin of Advocacy.

Article in an online medium: Evropský den advokátů 2021: Bez nezávislosti advokátů není spravedlnosti - Advokacie - Advokátní deník (advokatnidenik.cz)


On 25 October 2021, the Budapest Bar Association hold a Pro Bono Day entitled “Lawyers for the common good”. For this initiative, volunteer lawyers and Legal Advisors provided free legal advice to those in need. For easier organisation, the Budapest Bar provided its premises for this service. Pre-registration was required.

The lawyers participating in the programme also could provide free legal advice in their own office, either in person or online. Free legal advice was offered in several areas such as civil law, company law, family law, condominium and real estate law, criminal law, insurance law and tax law.




For European Lawyers Day, on 25 October 2021, the Consiglio Nazionale Forense (CNF) organised an event entitled "No justice without independent lawyers", which focused on the independence of the Bar and of the Associations themselves as a guarantee of the functioning of the judicial system and as a contribution to the rule of law. The programme is available here.

The event took place via the CNF e-learning platform at the following link.

The event had a limit of 500 participants. For further information, please contact the organising Secretariat at the following email address: ue@consiglionazionaleforense.it





In the framework of the European Lawyers' Day 2021, the Luxembourg Bar, in association with the Young Bar Conference, organised a conference:”Regards croisés sur La Profession d'Avocat et son Indépendance” on 28 October 2021.

The programme is available here.







On the occasion of the European Lawyers Day 2021, the Professional Development Committee of the Polish Bar Council organised an online conference on 25 October at 4.30 p.m. CET. The conference was streamed on the YouTube channel: Adwokatura Polska - YouTube and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NaczelnaRadaAdwokacka


Slovak Republic

  • On the occasion of the European Lawyers Day 2021, the Slovak Bar Association launched a HELP course on Ethics for lawyers, judges and prosecutors;
  • panel discussion took place on 26 October on the topic of the ELD “No justice without independent lawyers“, as well as the broader topic of “Ethics as a prerequisite for fair trial“;
  • The former President of the Bar, Anton Blaha, was invited as a guest to a radio programme to talk about the importance of independence. Anton Blaha contributed to the draft of the Act on the Legal Profession after the Velvet Revolution, which finally reintroduced full independence to lawyers in Slovakia in 1990.

More information here (in Slovak).




For European Lawyers Day 2021, the Slovenian Bar Association organised a round table entitled "There is no justice without an independent lawyer", which was held at the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana on 25 October 2021, at 5 pm. 

The flyer of the event is available here


Démarre le téléchargement d'un fichierEuropean Lawyers Day Poster (pdf)

Démarre le téléchargement d'un fichierEuropean Lawyers Day Handbook (pdf)








Overview of events organised by Bars and Law Societies for ELD 2020:


Organisation of a conference by the French-speaking Bar Association of Brussels on 23 October with the participation as a speaker of Ms. Françoise Tulkens, former Judge and Vice-President of the Euro-pean Court of Human Rights and Professor Extraordinary Emeritus at the Catholic University of Louvain. The proceedings of the conference will be available in January 2021 and will be edited by Anthémis and the Brussels Bar.

For more information, please visit the website of the Brussels Bar.






Organisation of a round table by Croatian Bar Association (CBA) with the participation of a high-profile representatives of the judiciary, the executive and the legislative power of the Republic of Croatia. The roundtable was opened by the CBA President Josip Šurjak and followed by the president of the Supreme Court Đuro Sessa. Other participants and speakers of the round table: the CBA Vice-President and round table moderator, Mladen Klasić, the CBA Management Board member, Berislav Živković, and Commercial Court judge, Iva Karin Šipek, delivered their speeches on the different aspects of the digitalisation of justice, online hearings in the area of criminal and civil, which gave rise to a lively discussion among all the participants of the round table.







The National Bar of Attorneys-at-Law 

Several actions were undertaken by the National Bar of Attorneys-at-Law in Poland as well as regional bar associations of attorneys-at-law in Poland.
The main events were the following:

  • Launch of the online Film Discussion: “Philadelphia” (1993, Jonathan Demme). The selection of the film was dictated by the topic of the European Lawyers Day 2020 as “Philadelphia” is a court drama that refers to another pandemic – AIDS. It shows the way the fear of the disease influences stereo-types and prejudices, pictures the difficult struggle to overcome the biases and highlights that the justice should take side of the vulnerable ones. Even though it has been almost 30 years since the release of “Philadelphia”, the issues the film raises are still relevant nowadays. After the online discus-sion, “Philadelphia” was made available to the participants through the online film platform.
  • Organisation of a final online event with the participation of Mrs Joanna Wisła-Płonka, Chair of the International Affairs Committee of the National Bar Council of Attorneys-at-Law, and the guest of hon-our, Mrs Francesca Sorbi. The discussed topic: “The continuity of justice and respect of human rights in times of pandemic”, especially from the perspective of Italian experiences.

The Polish Bar Council

Publication by the Polish Bar Council of information on EDL into their website: https://www.adwokatura.pl/ogolnoprawne/europejski-dzien-prawnika-25-pazdziernika-2020-roku/





Publication of an article from former CCBE President, José de Freitas, available here: http://boletim.oa.pt/project/setembro-2020-cultura-60-aniversario-do-ccbe/






Organisation of a videoconference by the National Association of the Romanian Bars (UNBR) on October 22 with the participation of the Honorary President of the UNBR, the Head of the CCBE Romanian delegation, Calin Andrei Zamfirescu, and the Minister of Justice. The entire videoconference is availa-ble here: https://youtu.be/kDuWapJANdI

Démarre le téléchargement d'un fichierEuropean Lawyers Day Poster (pdf)







Overview of events organised by Bars and Law Societies for ELD 2019:


Organisation of two events by the Belgian French and German-speaking Bar Association (AVOCATS.BE) which made it possible to identify the current issues surrounding access to lawyers, both at Belgian and European level:

  • A conference entitled "Prisons: what are the prospects for strengthening procedural rights? " with the participation of the Spanish Bars. A panel of speakers from various professions delivered a quality conference, at the forefront of current events in their respective fields. They discussed the conditions for establishing a possible intervention of EU law in the prison field and the prospects that such an innovation would open regarding the effectiveness of the fundamental rights of detained persons. 
  • A workshop was organised in collaboration with the Liege Bar Association. The event gathered various professions: lawyers, judges, prosecutors, university professors, social workers, prison directors, educators, police superintendents, criminologists, ...
    The participants were divided into discussion tables, each devoted to a specific place of detention, discussed the possibilities of facilitating access of detained persons to their lawyers in each place of detention. The members of each group shared their respective experiences and identified the issues and difficulties encountered by each person in the exercise of their profession in the place of detention. Each group then identified solutions to the issues and difficulties identified before sharing the results of their work with the other. 



Organisation of a roundtable by the Croatian Bar Association (CBA) with participation of the CBA president Josip Šurjak and the Croatian minister of justice Dražen Bošnjaković.



Information published in the lawyers newsletter available here: https://www.cak.cz/assets/komora/bulettin-advokacie/ba_10_2019_web.pdf (page 71), in the Czech Bar Association website – Advokátní deník: https://advokatnidenik.cz/2019/10/25/pravo-na-pristup-osob-ve-vazbe-k-obhajci-tema-evropskeho-dne-advokatu-2019/ and organisation by the Czech Bar Association of a conference and exhibition in Prague entitled „Lawyers against Totalitarianism“ dedicated to the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the “Velvet revolution“. 







Conference organised by the Budapest Bar for the defence assigned counsel on the occasion of the European Lawyers Day at Budapest Bar’s premises.

© Panpress Hungary © Panpress Hungary

(© Panpress Hungary)



The Law Society of Ireland published a video available here



Conference organised by the Consiglio Nazionale Forense to celebrate the European Day of Justice and European Lawyers’ Day. More information available in Italian here: https://www.consiglionazionaleforense.it/web/cnf-calendario/-/648492 

The programme is available here.



Organisation of a meeting with journalists by The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights in Poland, the Polish Bar Council and the Warsaw Bar Association and presentation of a set of recommendations regarding access to a lawyer, the implementation of which will ensure effective adaptation of national regulations to European standards.

The presented regulations include, among others, ensuring the possibility of contacting a lawyer before the first hearing or immediately after being arrested, creating a system of on-call duty hours for lawyers or ensuring confidentiality of client contact with a lawyer.  http://www.adwokatura.pl/z-zycia-nra/prawo-zatrzymanego-do-obroncy-tematem-europejskiego-dnia-prawnika/



Organisation of a debate by the National Union of Romanian Bars.

The conclusions are available here







Organisation of study visits for trainee lawyers to Slovak prisons in different regions of Slovakia. 

The trainee lawyers were accompanied by experienced defence lawyers who explain practical details of access to lawyer and fundamental quaranties.






Presentation of the European legislation on the right to legal aid in criminal matters - with a special focus on Directives 2013/48/EU and 2016/1919/EU for the regional (Ljubljana) Chapter of Attorneys and organisation of a lecture at the Ljubljana University’s Law College.














Production of a European Lawyers Day podcast on criminal legal aid by the Law Society of England and Wales with contribution from Law Society of Scotland and Law Society of Northern Ireland.

The podcast is available here: https://communities.lawsociety.org.uk/international/european-lawyers-day-2019-legal-aid-in-criminal-matters/6000471.article

The 2018 edition of European Lawyers Day (ELD) took place on 25th October, the same day as the European Day of Justice. This year’s theme is: “Why Lawyers matter: Defending the defenders of the Rule of Law”.

Why do lawyers matter? Lawyers defend citizens’ rights and interests, often acting against authorities and unlawful situations. The CCBE stresses their crucial role in promoting the rule of law. During European Lawyers Day, Bars and Law Societies organise activities (conferences, panel discussions, and debates, among other activities) and draft publications about the theme. 


What is European Lawyers Day? Why do lawyers matter? Watch the interview to find out!

In this interview, Antonín Mokrý, the President of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), talks about the 2018 European Lawyers Day. In the interview, the President also highlights the work of the Council of Europe concerning the profession of the lawyer and explains how lawyers are essential actors in the justice system.

Interviewee: Antonín Mokrý, CCBE President.
Interviewer – voice credits: Paula Garrido, CCBE Communications Officer.

The 2017 edition of European Lawyers Day (ELD) took place on October 25th. European Lawyers Day is a day that celebrates the rule of law and the legal profession’s intrinsic role in its defence, as well as lawyers’ common values and contribution to the justice system. The theme for this year was: “E-volving lawyers: how digital transformation can enrich the relationship between the citizen and the lawyer”. 

The event aimed at familiarising citizens with the new technologies available to the legal profession, and their positive impact on the evolving relationship between lawyers and citizens. Each bar and law society was encouraged to organise events in their national countries to ensure that ELD gains the widest reach possible.





Overview of events organised by Bars and Law Societies for ELD 2017:


BarEuregio.eu, in collaboration with the Ordre des Barreaux francophones et germanophones, Avocats.be, invited lawyers, citizens and companies to participate in this year’s ELD with a conference on the theme of legal « e-volving laywers: towards more justice? » at the Spa-Francorcham

ps Circuit. 

Pierre Henry (President of the Verviers Bar) made the opening remarks, while the general introduction was given by Melchior Wathelet Junior (President of the Spa-Francorchamps Circuit). The first panel on “Les technologies dans le monde du droit: évolutions et perspectives” was composed by David Fredrich (LegalTech Solutions: Consulting, Conception & Development – Larcier) and Dan Kohn (Head of Key Accounts and Networks – SECIB). The second panel on “La cour de justice: l’utilisation du numérique; protection de la vie privée et des données” was composed by Melchior Wathelet Senior (First Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the European Union) and Eric Balate (lawyer at the Mons Bar, administrateur of Avocats.be and lecturer at UMons). Finally, the third panel on “Algorithmes et collusion dans une économie de marché” was composed by Nicolas Petit (Law Faculty, ULg Co-Director, Brussels School of Competition; EDHEC Business School, France). The forum was moderated by Gilles Quoistiaux, journalist from Trends-Tendances.


Press Release

Article on La Tribune d’Avocats.be  



On European Lawyers´ Day (ELD) and this year´s topic, “E-Volving Lawyers – How digital transformation can enrich the relationship between the citizen and the lawyer”, the Czech Bar Association presented the work of Antonín Mokrý, the CCBE’s first Vice-President: “Will machines replace a human in dispute resolution?” (in or

iginal language) 

The CCBE poster, together with an article on the provision of legal services through electronic platforms (link), is being published in the Bulletin, Journal of the Czech Bar Association which is distributed to all lawyers and trainee lawyers. 

Moreover, an informative article about the ELD, (in original language): with links to the CCBE European Lawyers´ Day website, was published on 25 October 2017 in the On-line version of Bulletin, as well as on the website and on the Twitter account of the Czech Bar Association.

The Bar also covered ELD on social media.





The Croatian Bar celebrated European Lawyers’ Day on 25 October 2017 with a conference on “The Impact of Technology on the Legal Profession” at the Croatian Bar premises in Zagreb. In his opening speech, Bar President Robert Travaš said technology should facilitate the work of lawyers but could not replace personal contact between a lawyer and their client. Lawyers Lovro Kovačić and Tonči Ravlić talked about technology aspects which are already part of lawyers’ everyday life.





At the “DAV-Forum: digital civil procedure” on 8 November 2017 in Berlin, the DAV discussed how an efficient digital civil procedure should function. The aim of this event was to give the legislator recommendations for the improvement of the current rules so that both the lawyer and the client benefit from the digitalisation of the profession.    



The Greek Bar Association organised an event on the ELD theme: “E-volving lawyers: how digital transformation can enrich the relationship between the citizen and the lawyer”.

Speakers included: Vassilis Alexandris, President of the Athens Bar Association and of the Plenary of all Greek Bars; Panagiotis Lymperopoulos, Appellate Judge, Vice President of the Union of Judges and Prosecutors; Ioanna Kalantzakou, Vice President of the Athens Bar Association; Nikolas Kanellopoulos, General Secretary of OPEMED, Vice President of the Union of Greek Law Firms; Alkistis Christofilou, lawyer LL.M, LSE; Panagiotis Perakis, member of the Board of the Athens Bar Association and Chairman of the Access to Justice Committee of the CCBE.






On the occasion of the ELD the Polish National Bar of Attorneys at Law encouraged the Regional Chambers of Attorneys at Law to organise school lessons for children. The meetings aimed at promoting knowledge about the law, as well as to focus on the topic of the Day – E-volving lawyers: how digital transformation can enrich the relationship between the citizen and the lawyer. The lessons were conducted pro bono by Polish attorneys at law.

European Lawyers Day in Poland was also marked with the organisation - by Committee for Professional Development of the Polish National Council of Attorneys at Law - of the conference in Warsaw entitled “A modern law firm – development and challenges”. Among the speakers was Mr. Jaap Bosman – international business consultant for law firms from TGO Consulting. 



The Portuguese Bar Association hosted a roundtable amongst Portuguese specialists, IT providers, and lawyers with special guest Thierry Wickers, who held a lecture on the impact of technology on the legal profession.



The Slovak Bar Association organised an essay competition for students related to the ELD theme: “Future and Technology – E-volution of Lawyers”. The winner was chosen by a three-member panel formed by one representative of the Bar Council, a member of IT working group and the CCBE Information Officer. The winner - Tomáš Dilong, a bachelors student from Trnava University - was awarded 300 EUR on 16 November. The aim of the competition was to encourage future lawyers to express their views and to promote ELD at universities. This year, the Slovak Bar Association cooperated for the first time with ELSA Slovakia. The essay is to be published in the November issue of the Bar Bulletin along with the article on ELD. 



On 25 October, the Bar Association of Slovenia, in cooperation with the Bar’s Law Academy and the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana, organised a debate on the topic "Ethical aspects of the use of new technologies in the field of law and protection of citizens" with the participation of four representatives of the Bar Association of Slovenia (Roman Završek, LL.B., President, Živa Drol Novak, Chair of the Ethics Committee, Janez Stušek and Alenka Košorok Humar, Director of the Bar’s Law Academy).  The event was intended for law students and the general public. 

Link to the invitation

Earlier, the Bar Association of Slovenia organised, in cooperation with the Bar’s Law Academy and the Ljubljana Regional unit of the Bar Association, a public lecture on the "Due diligence of lawyers in e-commerce". The lecturer was a member of the Bar Association of Slovenia, Janez Stušek. 

Link to the invitation



The Spanish Bar Association held a roundtable with its President, Victoria Ortega Benito, and IT lawyers. A press release (in original language) followed the event, mentioning ELD, as well as the national and regional Bars’ initiatives and best practices.  

The Bar also covered ELD on social media.








European Lawyers Day 2017 was acknowledged on the website of the Swedish Bar Association and on other social media, with information on the theme of the year, as well as the importance of the legal profession for democracy, rule of law and human rights. 




The Law Society of England and Wales held a seminar titled “The impact of technology on the legal profession” with the contribution from Lord Briggs (Supreme Court Judge and Judge in charge of the Chancery Modernisation Review in 2013) and Peter Wright (Founder and Managing Partner of Digital Law UK). 


The Law Society of Northern Ireland, organised a conference which provided an opportunity to mark ELD by highlighting the legal profession’s significant contribution to the rule of law and justice system throughout Europe.

Over 50 solicitors attended the conference and had the opportunity to hear from a number of key note speakers, including Ian Huddleston, the President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland, and Stephen Beattie and Andrew Bennett from Allen & Overy LLP.

An article on the event held for ELD was published on the Irish Legal News bulletin 

The Bar also covered ELD on social media.


For the 2016 edition of European Lawyers Day, the CCBE proposes the central theme of “Access to Justice”. Access to Justice is indeed a main concern of the legal profession, and is an essential part of its core mission. However, since one European voice is preferred, we suggest to concentrate on the subtopic of “access your lawyer to access your rights”, with a focus on access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings, guaranteed across EU Member States through Directive 2013/48. 

The CCBE wishes to highlight that having access to a lawyer provides a person with access to all their rights. Lawyers are uniquely positioned to inform citizens and to give effect to their rights. 




Overview of events organised by Bars and Law Societies for ELD 2016:


Avocats.be organised an open day for citizens at the Palais de Justice in Huy. They also organised a debate on the theme of Access to Justice touching upon issues such as the length and cost of legal proceedings, lawyers' fees, the organisation of the profession, the 'lawyer-client' relationship, the legibility and understanding of legal acts and court decisions for citizens, reforms which undermine access to the court, the backlog of cases, ADR, etc.







The Czech Bar Association organised a photography exhibition focusing on human rights (photos taken by photographer Jan Šibík – see www.sibik.cz). The exhibition took place in the newly rebuilt gallery space on the ground floor of the Kaňka´s Palace in Prague, the main seat of the Czech Bar Association. In addition, an article was published in the Czech Bar Association monthly journal “Bulletin advokacie” (Bulletin of the Legal Profession) on the theme of Access to justice.





On 10th December, the Finnish Bar Association announced its initiative to financially support Finnish human rights cases that in their estimation should be taken to the European Court of Human Rights or other international human rights forums.



The Athens Bar organised an event at the hall of the Athens Bar Association on the theme of: “The access to justice. The right to access a lawyer”.











The Hungarian Bar Association published on their website (available to all Hungarian lawyers) a detailed article about the celebration of ELD 2016.



The Law Society of Ireland organised a screening of a documentary relating to access to justice for trainee solicitors (students). The objective was to get young solicitors interested in European issues and to become familiar with the role and work of the CCBE. 

In addition, the Irish Delegation (Law Society and Bar jointly) organised a presentation of the European Lawyers in Lesvos project as a good example of access to justice (and linked to refugee rights).





On 3rd December, the Advocates of Lithuania marched through the Central Avenue of Vilnius.



National Romanian Lawyers Association (UNBR) celebrated European Lawyers Day on the 9th December 2016 by organising a discussion on “Access to Justice”. The debate was presented from the point of view of both representatives of the citizens’ legal rights field and the lawyers.



The Bar Council announced an essay competition on the ELD theme for law faculty students and trainee lawyers to encourage young lawyers to express their views and to promote ELD at universities and amongst its members. The winner was invited to the Winter Seminar of lawyers, awarded 300 euro, and had her essay published in the December issue of the Bar Bulletin along with an article on ELD.





To celebrate European Lawyers Day, the Humanitarian Fund of the Slovenian Bar organised the annual distribution of funds and the hand-over of financial assistance to people in need.



The Polish Bar Council celebrated European Lawyers Day on the 9th of December through lectures and workshops by lawyers in local secondary schools. Lawyers from local bars spoke to students about the legal profession and its core mission. Their focus was on access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings. Dozens of schools in Poland were involved in the celebration of European Lawyers Day.



The Law Society of England and Wales incorporated European Lawyers Day into their seminar on “Lawyers and human rights defenders at risk”.

The Law Society of Northern Ireland organised an event on Friday 9th December with the theme of Access to Justice at which Her Honour Elizabeth McCaffrey and Michael Robinson (Head of the UK Delegation to the CCBE) spoke.

European Lawyers Day on the theme of Freedom of Speech took place throughout Europe on 10 December 2015, in conjunction with World Human Rights Day.

The theme was Freedom of Speech, and referred to all forms of expression. It was particularly important at a time of clashing liberties – the most obvious in this year of the Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris being between freedom of speech and the right not to be insulted or discriminated against. This is also always relevant with regards to lawyers’ own freedom of speech, for instance in speaking about cases in which they are involved, or in being involved generally in civil society.




Overview of events organised by Bars and Law Societies for ELD 2015:



European Lawyers Day on 10 December 2014 celebrated the common values of lawyers and their role in civil society in promoting the rule of law.

Of all of the basic human rights that have been enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the European Convention on Human Rights, the right to privacy and protection of personal information is the one most generally under threat through mass governmental surveillance, as revealed over 2013 and 2014.

When rights are violated, citizens’ faith in the administration of justice and the rule of law weakens. As lawyers, it is our role in society to uphold and defend the rule of law for citizens. Lawyer-client confidentiality and the protection of client data are key components of this role. Without trust and confidentiality, access to justice and the rule of law cannot be guaranteed.

European Lawyers Day 2014 proved to be a successful endeavour supported by 17 participating members. The CCBE Presidency participated in events in Rome, Madrid, Warsaw, and Paris, while the CCBE team coordinated a Twitter dialogue on the topic, in which numerous CCBE members and concerned citizens participated using the hashtag #clientdata.