CCBE: Position Papers
On 26 March 2021, the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) held an online Standing Committee during which several position papers were adopted. Among them:
- The CCBE adopted its comments on the Communication on the Digitalisation of Justice in the EU. The Communication was published on 2 December 2020 by the European Commission, with the intent to improve the digitalisation of justice in the EU. With regard to the refusal of many national authorities to verify electronic signatures from other Member States, the CCBE stressed the importance of an effective application of the eIDAS regulation that had been adopted on 23 July 2014. Calling for reinforcement of EU-wide legal certainty, the CCBE also emphasised the need for EU-wide minimum standards, which would ensure that national e-justice systems can guarantee the right to a fair trial.
- The CCBE welcomed the European Commission’s e-CODEX proposal for a regulation on a computerised communication system in cross-border civil and criminal proceedings. The CCBE voiced concerns, however, over the lack of clear and concrete provisions regarding the operating conditions of access points in the e-CODEX proposal, especially on “how to maintain the integrity of the system when entities operating access points are private companies.” The CCBE called the proposal inadequate regarding the protection of fundamental rights, noting that there should be explicit references to the applicability of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.
- The CCBE adopted its Contribution for the Rule of Law Report 2021. In this contribution, the CCBE pointed out that lawyers are faced with many challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences for access to justice, quality of justice, and upholding the rule of law. In this regard, the CCBE urged the Commission to continue monitoring such developments and to take necessary actions to prevent any undermining of the rule of law. The CCBE also reaffirmed the importance of recognising lawyers as key actors in the justice system – on the same level as judges and prosecutors.
- The CCBE adopted its comments on the European Judicial Training Strategy. It welcomed the Communication of the Commission “Ensuring justice in the EU ‒ a European judicial training strategy for 2021-2024” and especially the European Judicial Training strategy, which promotes a common rule-of-law culture upholding fundamental rights. The CCBE stressed the importance of the objective to train 15% of lawyers in EU law by 2024 but pointed out that adequate funding is needed in order to meet such ambitious goal.