The Council of Europe HELP course launched jointly with European Association of Lawyers and the European Young Bar Association

online 2 May 2022
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The Council of Europe HELP course launched jointly with European Association of Lawyers and the European Young Bar Association

More than 40 lawyers from 12 countries will be taking the international version of the Council of Europe HELP course on Ethics for Lawyers, in a joint initiative of the Council of Europe HELP Programme, the European Association of Lawyers and the European Young Bar Association.

The online course launch event was opened by Eva Pastrana, Head of Justice and Human Rights Training Division, Council of Europe, who thanked the two organisations for the cooperation in this initiative and highlighted the importance of the topic in the wider context of the rule of law. In her welcoming remarks, Maria Slazak, President of the European Association of Lawyers, highlighted the role of lawyers as one of the pillars of justice and the first contact with parties/individuals seeking justice. She emphasized the lawyers’ need for knowledge of the law, but also of the ethical principles of the profession. Giulia Guagliardi, President of the European Young Bar Association, also addressed the participants during the welcoming remarks, stressing the role of lawyers in maintaining peace and rule of law, especially in challenging times, and highlighting the importance for young lawyers to understand, since the very beginning of their career, the purpose of ethics in the administration of justice.

During the launching event, the participants could benefit from a keynote speech by Nielson Sanchez Stewart, Advocate, Doctor Iuris, Counsellor of the Consejo General de la Abogacía Española and Professor of Ethics, who reflected on the moral and legal aspects of lawyers’ ethics and deontology and provided some country specific insights. In addition, during the event, the aim and background of this course were presented by Julen Fernandez Conte and Vladimir Palamarciuc, co-authors of the specific module of this course dedicated to Ethics for Lawyers.

The course participants will follow this course in the upcoming five weeks. The course will be moderated/tutored by Michaela Chladekova and Vladimir Palamarciuc, both HELP Info Points for their countries (Slovakia and the Republic of Moldova respectively), who previously both tutored the Slovak and Moldovan course versions for lawyers in their countries.

The Council of Europe HELP online course on Ethics of Judges, Prosecutors and Lawyers was developed in 2020 – 2021 under the EU-CoE “HELP in the EU II” project, in cooperation with several Council of Europe entities/services such as the Secretariats of the Venice Commission, the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) and the Consultative Councils of European Judges and Prosecutors (CCJE and CCPE) as well as the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights.

It includes the following modules:

1. Introduction

  • Why does professional ethics matter?
  • Common values and principles
  • Key concepts
  • Distinction between ethical principles and disciplinary rules

2. International and European Framework

  • Treaty norms
  • United Nations
  • Council of Europe
  • European Union
  •  Professional bodies
  • Instruments of international courts

3. Ethics for Judges

4. Ethics for Prosecutors

5. Ethics for Lawyers

  • General principles
  • Relation with other parties
  • Values
  • Tools
  • Practical examples

The course is also available for autonomous, self-learning at the Council of Europe HELP Platform in English, French, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Lithuania, Poland, Romanian, Slovenian, Spanish and Slovak. Successful participants can generate a HELP ‘statement of accomplishment’ after completing the self-learning course.

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