Justice International visits and participates in a series of events at the Council of Europe (CoE), European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). These events were related to on-going work aiming to strengthen the guarantees of the independence of lawyers and the principles of independence of the profession of lawyer in the countries members of the CoE. The visit also focused on the need to discuss the concept of the future European Convention on the Profession of Lawyer with the experts, making the emphasis on the human rights mission of and legal guarantees for lawyers.
Specifically, during the study visit, JI met with CoE experts who are responsible for Human Rights Policy and Cooperation at CoE; the PACE members, who are tasked with the work on the concepts for the new European Convention on the Profession of Lawyer including the Rapporteur Ms. Sabien LAHAYE-BATTHEU, who issued a memorandum supporting such initiative; the ECtHR judges who work on the variety of human rights cases at the court. We also observed the hearing of the case Navalny v. Russia before the grand chamber of the ECtHR; discussed the ways to render professional assistance to human rights defenders and to use the ILIA alumni’s expertise and on-line resources including the CoE’s HELP; and attended the PACE’s plenary debate and vote on "the case for drafting a European convention on the profession of lawyer."
The visit was a part of the ongoing work by the ILIA program of the Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF) and other organizations. The visit was organized in cooperation with the CoE, HRHF and the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), the Human Rights Embassy (Moldova), and with the participation of the HRHF’s houses from Belarus, Georgia, Russia and Ukraine.