Implementation of the Professional Qualifications Directive and the need for reform in professional services

February 1st, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

On 18 January 2018 the European Parliament adopted the Resolution on the Implementation of the Professional Qualifications Directive and the need for reform in professional services (2017/2073(INI)).

Resolution in available in all EU languages (here).

The Resolution highlights the need for a better implementation of Directive 2005/36/EC and issues already stressed in the CCBE Training conference in December 2017. In particular, the European Parliament:

  • Highlights the need not only for an effective regulatory framework in the EU and the Member States, but also for effective and coordinated policies aimed at supporting professionals in the EU and strengthening competitiveness, innovation capacity and the quality of professional services in the EU;
  • Stresses that professionals can exercise regulated professions either as natural persons or as legal persons in the form of a professional company, and that consideration from both perspectives is important when implementing new policies; in this light, is convinced that economic tools should be combined with policies aimed at strengthening entrepreneurship and human capital in the professional services;
  • Calls on the Commission and the Member States, together with professional organisations in their respective areas of competence, to follow up adequately the recommendations of the Working Group on Bolstering the Business of Liberal Professions;
  • Highlights the importance of education, skills development and entrepreneurial training in order to ensure that professionals in the EU remain competitive and able to face the transformational changes that are affecting the liberal professions as a consequence of innovation, digitalisation and globalisation; stresses the close connection between the knowledge of a professional and the quality of service provided; notes the important role that should be played by higher education and research institutions in this regard, including through digital literacy projects;
  • Points out that better comparability of the level of professional qualifications is needed in order to increase the homogeneity of the evidence of formal qualifications across the EU and thus create a more level playing field for young graduates entering the professions, thereby facilitating their mobility across the EU;
  • Notes that scientific progress, technological innovation and digitalisation have a considerable impact on the professional services, bringing new opportunities for professionals but also challenges for the labour market and the quality of services;
  • Welcomes the acknowledgement by the Commission of the need to reflect on the impact of new technologies on professional services, especially in the legal and accounting sectors, where procedures could be improved; notes in particular that close attention needs to be paid to the consequent risks for service recipients, including consumers, of such a transformational change, who must not be excluded from new technologies;
  • Stresses that new technologies will be unlikely to replace human beings in making ethical and moral decisions; points out, in this regard, that rules on the organisation of professions, including rules on supervision by public bodies or professional associations could play an important role and contribute to the more equitable sharing of the benefits of digitalisation; notes that in certain areas market-driven mechanisms such as consumer feedback can also contribute to improving the quality of a particular service;
  • etc.

Summary of the Resolution.

Today the European Commission launched consultation on the future of European judicial training

February 1st, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

On 1 February 2018 the European Commission launched consultation on Training of justice professionals on EU law.

This consultation is open to all citizens and stakeholders interested in the future of European judicial training. The replies will be taken into account when evaluating the 2011 European judicial training strategy and when designing the new European judicial training strategy for 2019-2025.

In 2011, the European Commission adopted a long-term strategy on European Judicial Training which sets specific objectives for the training of justice professionals to be reached by 2020.

European judicial training covers the training of justice professionals on all EU legislation, including EU judicial cooperation instruments as well as the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Union’s core values such as the rule of law.

The justice professionals are the practitioners involved in the justice system such as judges, prosecutors, court staff, bailiffs or enforcement officers, lawyers, notaries, mediators, legal interpreters and translators, court experts, prison management and staff, probation officers.

The questionnaire is accessible in English, French and German. Contributions may be submitted in any of the official EU languages. This public consultation is complemented by a targeted questionnaire addressed to the main stakeholders (EU-level training providers for justice professionals, EU-level representatives of justice professions and EU-level associations of justice professionals).

Consultation period: 1 February 2018 – 26 April 2018.

The Training Committee of the CCBE as usual will provide its contribution.

European Court of Human Rights judgement on discrimination regarding the right to education

February 1st, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

In the case of Enver Şahin v. Turkey (application no. 23065/12), the Court found that there had been discrimination concerning the right to education owing to the inability of the applicant, a paraplegic person, to gain access to the university buildings for the purposes of his studies owing to the lack of suitable facilities (a violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights, read in conjunction with Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 (right to education)).

The Court found in particular that the Government had not demonstrated that the national authorities, and in particular the university and judicial authorities, had reacted with the requisite diligence in order to ensure that Mr Şahin could continue to enjoy his right to education on an equal footing with other students.

Firstly, a proposal by the rector’s office to provide a person to assist him had not been made following an assessment of Mr Şahin’s actual needs and an honest appraisal of the potential impact on his safety, dignity and independence. Secondly, the domestic courts had not ascertained whether a fair balance had been struck between the competing interests of the applicant (his educational needs) and of society as a whole.

Furthermore, they had omitted to look for possible solutions that would have enabled the applicant to resume his studies under conditions as close as possible to those provided to students with no disability, without imposing an undue or disproportionate burden on the administration. press-release

The training of lawyers in the 21st century

January 30th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

capture
Jarkko Männistö, Asianajaja presenting his paper in Brussels at the CCNE Training conference on 14th December 2017

Jarkko Männistö, Asianajaja presenting his paper in Brussels at the CCBE Training conference on 14th December 2017

This is a short blog by Jarkko Männistö, Asianajaja, OTT outlining key points from his intervention at the CCBE conference on Training of Lawyers, challenges and opportunities, Brussels, 14 December 2017.

I have been teaching advocacy to students, bar exam candidates, and experienced attorneys for almost 15 years. What I have learned, through a series of trials and errors, is that students learn what they want to learn. And only what they want to learn.

Based on this experience I argue that continuing legal education in the 21st century should, above all, be a positive experience to those we wish to educate.

The following are, what I consider, the four cornerstones of the positive learning experience.

Go online, go live
Lawyers are chronically time constrained. So take legal education online whenever you can. If a lawyer can save an hour or two of travel time, he or she just might spend a good part of the time saved learning something new.

If you want to lecture, broadcast it live. Livestream lecture with a real time chat is a great way on engaging students from the comfort of their own office or home.

Show, don’t tell
Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach. If you do not agree with this, show your students how it’s done. It’s easy enough to say that you should write clearly and concisely. Following that instruction is the hard part.

Lawyers must apply law to concrete problems. Continuing legal education should help them do that, which is why continuing legal education should be all about application.

Doing is learning
Sitting still and listening someone talk about the law is, even for most lawyers, dreadfully boring. Don’t put your students’ brain into hibernation.

Instead, activate your students. Ask questions. Create problems. Make them do the work, because that’s what learning requires. Hard work. Doing stuff with your brain. Not having it done for you by someone else (the teacher).

Be a coach
People avoid things which cause them embarrasment. Never make people feel bad about themselves, because most of them will not study harder to avoid further embarrasment. Instead, they will take the easy way out, which is to avoid your lectures.

So, accept everyone come in “as is”. You have succeeded as a teacher, if they leave equipped with more knowledge than they came in. And more importantly, with a hunger to learn more.

Jarkko Männistö
Attorney, LL.D.

This posting is an adaptation of the speech Jarkko gave on 14 December in Brussels in the CCBE Seminar titled “Training of lawyers, challenges and opportunities”.

Jarkko

Jarkko

Outcome of the CCBE Training conference

January 12th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

tc-conference

The CCBE Training conference took place on 14 December 2017 in Brussels at the L42 Business Centre (Rue de la Loi 42, 1040, Brussels).

The programme included panels on the transforming management of the law firm in the digital era, neuroscience and new discoveries on effective learning, innovative training tools such as MOOC, virtual reality, webinar, and finally guides to financing projects. Furthermore, the conference provided an introduction to the European Training Platform on the e-Justice portal, and represented a valuable opportunity for training providers and legal professionals to share best practices and innovative solutions for legal training.

Please find the available presentations of the speakers for the conference:

CCBE Training Conference Programme

CCBE Training Conference Presentation

Workshop 1a – Design thinking and legal design

Workshop 1b – EU funds for training of lawyers

Workshop 2 – Choosing the appropriate, innovative tools for training

Workshop 3 – Council of Europe: HELP in the EU

Report on European judicial training 2017

January 11th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

On December 14, 2017 during the CCBE Training conference the European Commission presented the Report on European Judicial Training 2017.

This is the sixth report on training for legal practitioners (judges, prosecutors, court staff, bailiffs, lawyers and notaries) on EU law or on the national law of another Member State.

It is based on the results of a questionnaire sent in 2017 to Member States’ authorities, European networks of legal professionals (including the CCBE) and the main training providers at European level.

The report describes the progress towards the target set by the European Commission in 2011 (Communication “Building trust in EU-wide justice. A new dimension to European judicial training”) of ensuring that half of all legal practitioners in the EU are trained on EU law or on the national law of another Member State by 2020.

The discussion of the report will be organised during the CCBE Training Committee meeting on February 7, 2018 in Vienna.

report_photo

 

 

Legal English & Legal Skills – summer Course 2018!

January 9th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

 

For the past four years, the Law Society of Ireland has organised a (summer) Legal English and Legal Skills course for foreign lawyers.

The course consists of one intensive week in Dublin (in July), where participants can develop their legal skills (presentation, interviewing, negotiation & drafting) in English. The programme includes a lecture on comparative legal ethics. It is also a good opportunity to see Ireland and meet colleagues from other jurisdictions.

The 2018 course will take place from 16 to 20 July.

Legal English Brochure 2018

New HELP online course on Violence against Women and Domestic Violence

November 27th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

You can download the online course here.

EU agenda for Higher Education

November 20th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

European Parliament Factsheet

The Factsheet recalls that “In accordance with the subsidiarity principle, higher education policies are decided at the level of the individual Member States. The role of the EU is therefore mainly a supporting and coordinating one.”

The Factsheet refers to the Commission Communicaton on a ‘Renewed EU agenda for higher education’ (COM(2017) 0247) which focuses on four priority areas: 1. aligning skills development in higher education with the needs of the labour market; 2. making higher education widely accessible, more inclusive and increasing its societal outreach; 3. boosting the innovation capacity of higher education; 4. increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of higher education.

Having regard to the Communication COM(2017)0247, the Factsheet notes that the Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) will draw up an own-initiative report entitled ‘Modernisation of Education in the EU’, expected to be voted in plenary in the first half of 2018.

The Factsheet can be downloaded here.

***

Council to discuss EU agenda for Higher Education today

At today’s meeting, the Council is expected to adopt, amongst others, its conclusions on a renewed EU agenda for higher education. The conclusions will “reflect the need for highly skilled individuals to ensure the future prosperity of Europe. The overall aim is to modernise higher education so that it keeps up with a rapidly changing world”.

***

The CCBE Training committee will follow the EU institutions’ work in this area.

Update on the SRA’s New Route to Qualification in England and Wales

November 17th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) published this week a summary of the responses it received / response to the consultation on the new route to qualification – the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). The consultation was sent to Bars and Law Societies throughout Europe (including the CCBE which did not reply).

 The paper states, amongst others, that:

– “On our proposals for recognition of qualified lawyers, some respondents disagreed with the proposed approach; some were supportive; and others supported the principle of recognition but disagreed with the proposed approach.”

– “some drafting changes to the proposed SQE regulations and to the principles of recognition for qualifying lawyers seeking admission as a solicitor of England and Wales will be implemented.’’ However, major changes have not been made.”

Stakeholders addressed the need for more detail, as such the SRA will publish more information about the SQE on the:

– “detail of the SQE assessments

– proposed costs

– assessment timetable

– sample assessments

– process for recognition of qualified lawyers.”

The SRA will continue to engage with important stakeholders from the profession and legal academics.

It is anticipated that the next steps regarding the SQE will be that the SRA will ask the Legal Services Board for approval of the SQE regulations. If the regulations are approved, the SRA expects to appoint an assessment provider in April 2018. The SRA will determine on which date the regulations will be implemented, however it will not be earlier than September 2020.

For more information, please find the paper here.