International

We join European bars to call for respect of European Court of Human Rights

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce joined bar leaders from Council of Europe member states calling for respect for the rule of law and condemning national decisions undermining the effectiveness of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

Signatories to the Vienna declaration in support of the rule of law gathered at the French Embassy in Vienna

The Law Society was one of 35 signatories to the Vienna declaration in support of the rule of law earlier this month.

The declaration describes the ECtHR as a “common asset protecting the fundamental rights of the 700 million citizens of the 46 member states”.

Signatories shared concern about attacks on the rule of law, deplored the return of war to the European continent following Russia’s attack on Ukraine and proclaimed their willingness to contribute to strengthening the rule of law.

The declaration also highlighted “the right of every person to have access to clear legal information is an inherent element of the rule of law” and called for the protection of lawyers against breaches of their freedom to exercise their profession.

Read the Vienna declaration in full (PDF 457 KB)

Signatories included:

  • other bars and law societies from the United Kingdom
  • the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE)
  • bar associations and law societies from the European Union
  • the Ukrainian National Bar Association

European bar representatives gathered at the French Embassy in Vienna to sign the declaration at the invitation of French National Bar president Jérôme Gavaudan to mark the closing weeks of the French presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The event coincided with the 50th European Presidents' Conference in the Austrian capital, organised by the Austrian Bar Association and bringing together bar association leaders from across Europe to discuss issues of common concern.

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