STRASBOURG: The Observatory attends the 6th meeting of the Committee of Experts on the Protection of Lawyers (CJ-AV)

STRASBOURG: The Observatory attends the 6th meeting of the Committee of Experts on the Protection of Lawyers (CJ-AV)

Nathan Guy / Flickr / 2008

21 November 2023

The International Observatory for Lawyers in Danger (OIAD) is continuing its commitment towards the protection of Endangered Lawyers by participating, as an observer, in the 6th meeting of the Committee of Experts for the creation of a Convention which aims to protect lawyers more effectively from the dangers they face as a result of their profession.

The Observatory’s commitment is reflected in its preparation for and participation in all the meetings of the CJ-AV that have taken place in Strasbourg since April 2022. During the 6th meeting from 17 to 19 October, an analytical examination of the 8th version of the draft convention was carried out, looking in particular at Articles 3 (Use of terms), 4 (Professional associations), 5 (Authorisation to practise), 6 (Professional rights of lawyers), 8 (Discipline) and 9 (Protection). The report of the CJ-AV meeting sets out in detail the changes made to the above points.

Massimo Audisio, a lawyer and member of the Observatory’s Board, attended the meeting representing the OIAD, providing the recommendations identified on the draft text. This latest version of the text was examined for the first time by the Committee on European Legal Cooperation (CDCJ) at its plenary session on 15-17 November.

Particularly vigilant about the implementation of the draft, Mr Audisio explains that “although the basic structure of the implementation mechanism was decided at the last meeting in July, the following observations of the Committee need to be addressed at the next meeting:

  • The possibility of authorising class actions
  • The possibility of referring to powers similar to those granted to UN special rapporteurs
  • The possibility of establishing emergency procedures
  • The possibility of organising visits when violations of the Convention have occurred
  • The possibility and procedures for submitting periodic reports”.

In this regard, the Observatory maintains that only an effective implementation mechanism that comprehensively documents the threats faced by lawyers will make it possible to effectively implement the rights set out in the Convention.

The CJ-AV has agreed to hold its 7th meeting from 30 January to 1 February 2024 in Strasbourg, which will focus on the amended Article 9, the articles on implementation mechanisms, the final clauses, the explanatory report and the comments received from the CDCJ.