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The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe

The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) is an international non-profit making association founded in 1960 to become the voice of the legal profession in Europe.

The CCBE represents the bars and law societies of 32 member countries and 11 further associate and observer countries, and through them more than 1 million European lawyers.

Legal status and mission

The CCBE is an international non profit making association incorporated in Belgium and its objectives are:

  1. To represent the Bars and Law Societies of its Members, whether full, associate or observer members, on all matters of mutual interest relating to the exercise of the profession of the lawyer, the development of the law and practice pertaining to the rule of law and administration of justice and substantive developments in the law itself, both at a European and international level.
  2. To act as a consultative and intermediary body between its Members, whether full, associate or observer members, and between the Members and the institutions of the European Union and the European Economic Area on all cross border matters of mutual interest as listed under a) above.
  3. To monitor actively the defence of the rule of law, the protection of the fundamental and human rights and freedoms, including the right of access to justice and protection of the client, and the protection of the democratic values inextricably associated with such rights.

Structure and organisation

The CCBE acts as a representative organization of its member Bars and Law Societies on issues of common interest to the legal profession. It acts also as a consultative and intermediary body between its members and the EU institutions on European matters of mutual interest.

It continuously works to promote the rule of law worldwide and to protect fundamental human rights and freedoms, inextricably associated with the exercise of the legal profession.

The CCBE carries out its work within 18 Committees and 9 Working Groups, covering a wide range of areas which affect the European legal profession.

Its main executive body, the Standing Committee, comprises heads of national delegations, presided over by the CCBE´s President. The current president is Mr Evangelos Tsouroulis.

Decision powers, including the annual election of the President and the three Vice-Presidents, are vested in the Plenary Session (general assembly), which takes place twice a year and is open to all members of national delegations.

The CCBE is supported by a full-time Brussels-based secretariat, composed of a Secretary-General, legal advisers and administrative staff. The Secretary-General is Mr Jonathan Goldschmidt.

The CCBE's funding is chiefly provided through annual dues paid by all members, whether full, associate or observer.

The CCBE has regular institutional contacts with the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice. Over time, it has been repeatedly consulted by all these institutions and has thus influenced EU legislation on legal issues.

Lastly, the CCBE works closely with the leading legal organisations outside Europe, always with a view to promoting the core values of the profession worldwide




European Union

This Pilot Project is funded
by the European Union

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