Established in April 21, 2016 in the framework of the EU funded project “Lawyers serving lawyers”, the Observatory was re-established in 2015.
The Observatory’s basic aim is to uphold the right to practice law freely and totally independently, and to denounce situations where the right to legal council is at risk.
The observatory’s work covers warnings, support in the field and training.
The OIAD main offices are in Paris.
The French National Council for the Bar and the Paris Bar have put two persons at the disposal of the Observatory. Their work is geared towards fostering networking and coordinating the different missions.
Through its Foundation, the Consejo General de la Abogacía Española (Spanish General Council for the Bar) also provides a person whose direct responsibility includes the identification, formulation and coordination of the Observatory’s activity.
The International Observatory for Legal Representation at Risk (OIAD after its name in French) is an initiative begun by the Conseil National des Barreaux (French National Council for the Bar -France), the Barreau de Paris (Paris Bar -France), the Consejo General de la Abogacía Española (Spanish General Council for the Bar -Spain) and the Consiglio Nazionale Forense (National Lawyers’ Council – Italy).
Established in 2010 in the framework of the EU funded project “Lawyers serving lawyers”, it was re-established in May 2015 to defend legal representation at risk and denounce situations that violated the right to counsel.
The Observatory came about with the intention of coordinating its work with that of third-party entities, networks and mechanisms operating in the sphere of protecting lawyers in general and specifically lawyers defending human rights.
The Observatory acts as an umbrella for a large number of bar associations and civil society organizations enabling it to play a leading role in defending lawyers at risk both nationally and internationally.
The observatory’s work covers warnings, support in the field and training:
Establishment of emergency assistance mechanisms for lawyers faced with a serious and imminent threat.
This support can take various forms including:
Sending a special legal team on a field trip to defend a lawyer who is being subject to criminal proceedings Granting emergency funding to a lawyer and his family to face a difficult economic situation as a result of threats.
Purchasing protective equipment (installation of security equipment, securing computer networks, etc.)
Monitoring and Advocacy
Identifying lawyers at risk around the world by becoming the recipient of alerts issued by the member bars and monitoring the situation of lawyers in the most problematic countries.
Denouncing these cases by disseminating information confirmed by reliable sources such as the state authorities of the country, the diplomatic bodies of other member countries, as well as by relevant global and regional organizations so as to trigger their special protective procedures.
AAll professional associations and bar associations can join the observatory, as well as other organizations that wish to support the work of legal representation at risk.
The Observatory’s by-laws establish different categories of members:
The “Founding members” are the Conseil National des Barreaux (France), the Barreau de Paris (France), the Consejo General de la Abogacía Española (Spain) and the Consiglio Nazionale Forense (Italy).
The “Active members” are the bars and national councils that wish to join the Observatory.
The “Associate members” are the bar associations and other lawyers’ associations, groupings and international conferences interested in becoming involved in the Observatory’s work.
Any other entity or civil society organization involved in protecting human rights defenders can also contribute with its resources and capabilities as an “ally”.
The Observatory’s governance and management model was designed to perform a type of work that requires speed and immediate action to attend to the grave and urgent needs of the cases and situations identified. At the same time, it attempts to work in accordance with the principles of internal democracy and the participation of a great number of organizations. The following bodies were established to serve this purpose:
- A Board made up of 4 founding members and 2 elected “active members”. The Board appoints a Chair, General Director, and Treasurer, defines the Observatory’s strategic lines, and approves action to support lawyers at risk.
- A General Assembly bringing together the founding members, active members, associate members and allies at least once a year. Only the founding and active members pay annual contributions and have voting rights. The General Assembly approves the reports providing financial and technical results and rules on all issues regarding the Observatory’s work and elects two active members to the Board. Likewise, the General Assembly evaluates the situation of lawyers at risk around the world and the countries in which action to take action in order to provide the Board with input with which to define the Observatory’s strategy.
bers and active members who pay an annual fee have a non-consultative voting right. The role of the GA is to approve of the financial and moral reports, to decide on all matters submitted to it, and to elect the 2 members of the Bureau from the pool of active members. The GA is also an opportunity to discuss the general situation of lawyers in the world in order to feed the Bureau’s reflections on the definition of the IOAD’s strategy.
The Observatory can be joined in the following ways depending on the type of organization:
“Active membership” for bar associations and national councils, this status comes with voting rights in the General Assembly subject to payment of an annual contribution.
“Associate membership” for bar associations and other lawyers’ associations, groupings and international conferences without voting rights or any obligation to make a contribution.
“Ally” for any other entity or civil society organization involved in protecting human rights defenders, without voting rights or any obligation to make a contribution.
Send the filled in form to [email protected] or to the following address:
Observatoire international des avocats
11, place Dauphine, 75 001 París
The Observatory’s Board has established the following table of annual contributions for the 2019-2020 period:
- 2.500 € for bar associations with more than 2.500 members.
- 1.500 € for bar associations with between 1.000 and 2.499 members.
- 1.000 € for bar associations with between 500 and 999 members.
- 500 € for bar associations with fewer than 500 members.
To date, 34 bar associations have joined the Observatory as active members:
- Barreau de Brest
- Barreau de Caen
- Barreau des Hauts de Seine
- Barreau de La Rochelle-Rochefort
- Barreau de Lille
- Barreau de Lyon
- Barreau de Metz
- Barreau de Montpellier
- Barreau de Paris
- Barreau de Rouen
- Barreau de Strasbourg
- Barreau de Thonon-les-Bains
- Barreau de Tours
- Consejo General de la Abogacía Española
- Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Barcelona
- Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Bizkaia
- Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Cáceres
- Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Madrid
- Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Talavera
- Muy Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Pamplona
- Consiglio Nazionale Forense
- Ordine degli avvocati di Bari
- Ordine degli avvocati di Brescia
- Ordine degli avvocati di Messina
- Ordine degli avvocati di Milano
- Ordine degli avvocati di Modena
- Ordine degli avvocati di Monza
- Ordine degli avvocati di Oristano
- Ordine degli avvocati di Palermo
- Ordine degli avvocati di Roma
- Ordine degli avvocati di Rovereto
- Ordine degli avvocati di Torino
- Ordine degli avvocati di Verona
- Barreau de Hamm
- Barreau de Cologne
- Barreau de Genève
- Barreau de Neuchâtel
- Barreau de Bruxelles
- Barreau de Diyarbakir
- Barreau du Cameroun
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
- Barreau du Lualaba (RDC)