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A European convention to offer greater protection for the profession of lawyer

The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, on the basis of a report by Sabien Lahaye-Battheu (Belgium, ALDE), today unanimously voted in favour of drafting a European convention on the profession of lawyer.

The committee believes that greater protection should be offered to lawyers who, in many Council of Europe member States, are victims of harassment, threats, attacks and physical violence – sometimes going as far as murder - and abuse of disciplinary proceedings.

A European convention with an effective control mechanism is necessary to protect the profession of lawyer effectively ; it could also become a source of binding standards on the wider international level by allowing non-member States to accede to it.

The committee also felt it was essential to establish a rapid and flexible early-warning mechanism, modelled on the Platform to promote the protection of journalism and the safety of journalists, in order to respond to immediate threats to lawyers’ safety and independence.