PACE’s Standing Committee today expressed its concern at the numerous cases of violations of lawyers’ rights, including attacks on their safety and independence, in recent years. Lawyers continue to be targeted for their involvement in human rights-related cases, or for their work denouncing government unaccountability or corruption, the Standing Committee stated.
While encouraging governments to fully implement the provisions laid out in Recommendation No. R(2000)21 of the Committee of Ministers, the parliamentarians urged Council of Europe member States to ensure effective protection of the profession of lawyer, including by “prohibiting state interference in the legal profession and clearly identifying the specific activities that amount to prohibited interference”.
The adopted resolution, based on the report prepared by Aleksander Bashkin (Russian Federation, NR) calls for domestic legislative frameworks that guarantee “efficiency, independence and safety of lawyers’ work”, in particular by ensuring that national legislation and law enforcement practice improve the conditions and guarantees of lawyers’ work.
In an accompanying recommendation, the parliamentarians reiterated their calls on the Committee of Ministers, previously made in PACE Recommendation 2121 (2018), to proceed with the drafting and adoption of a legally-binding instrument as a priority, and to establish a platform for the protection of advocates from any interference with the exercise of their professional activities.