Winners of the first ERA-CCBE Young Lawyers Contest

September 26th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink


On 6-7 September 2018, the first ERA-CCBE Young Lawyers Contest took place in Trier, Germany.

20 contestants from 10 nationalities nominated by their local or national Bars took part in the contest. The Bars participating in the project were: the Dutch Brussels Bar (Belgium), Ordine degli Avvocati di Lucca (Italy), the Bucharest Bar (Romania), Hanseatische Rechtsanwaltskammer Hamburg (Germany), Rechtsanwaltskammer Hamm (Germany), Ecole des Avocats Centre Sud Grand Est (France) and the Warsaw Bar Association (Poland). To enhance the transnational character of the contest, contestants were divided into 6 teams from different Member States with different legal traditions:

Team 1 – Marco Polo
Ester Vets (BE)
Sini Tossavainen (FI)
Kyriaki Georgiou (CY)

Team 2 – Christopher Columbus
Stéphane de Schutter (BE)
Dino Gliha (CR)
Lena Haffner (DE)
Guðrún Olsen (IS)

Team 3- Ferdinand Magellan
Rimma Abadjan (BE)
Michel Dayanithi (FR)
Andria Newton (CY)
Ivana Kikerec (CR)

Team 4 – Jacques Cartier
Justine Van den Bon (BE)
Radosław Maruszkin (PO)
Vilma Markkola (FI)

Team 5 – Amerigo Vespucci
Christian Straker (DE)
Nicoleta-Angela Cherciu (RO)
Diana Romanini (I)

Team 6 – Vasco da Gama
Vincent Berthier (FR)
Ella Hiltunen (FI)
Livia Dianu-Buja (RO)

In each round of the contest, a different task was mastered: a written report on a legal question of the EU business law; an oral debate; a negotiating exercise on company law; and a moot court exercise based on a case. Members of the CCBE Presidency, Margarete von Galen and Ranko Pelicarić, were part of the jury.

Throughout the contest, participants showed a lot of enthusiasm, commitment and motivation.

The winners of the contest:
Vincent Berthier (France)
Ella Hiltunen (Finland)
Livia Dianu-Buja (Romania)


A free registration to the upcoming CCBE conference  “Artificial Intelligence – Humane Justice” (30 November 2018 in Lille, France) will be provided for winners.

For more information, please check Young Lawyers’ Contest website.


August 28th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink


REFOTRA project started in June 2018

August 28th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink


Current situation

The recognition of foreign training activities for lawyers (i.e. training pursued by EU lawyers in a Member State other than the one where they are registered) has been an issue discussed for some years by the Council of Bars and Law Societies (CCBE) and its Training Committee.

The CCBE represents over one million European lawyers through their national Bars and Law Societies, and its Training Committee is composed of lawyers who are experts on training issues affecting the legal profession in Europe. A recent product of its work is the CCBE Memorandum on Mutual Recognition of Lawyers’ Cross-Border Continuing Professional Development, signed by 40 European Bars and Law Societies in February 2017. Through this Memorandum, the signatory parties agreed that:

The number of CPD course hours attended or CPD credits of the training courses obtained by lawyers enrolled in a Bar or Law Society of a member country, should be considered in their signatory jurisdiction of origin to help fulfil their requirements of CPD obligations, in accordance with national, regional or local rules or regulations and without prejudice to each national, regional or local evaluation system.”

The Memorandum was an important step towards mutual recognition; however, in practice the Memorandum expresses a desire, and does not lead to automatic recognition, as the signatory parties will still check the training carried out in another Member State against their own continuing training criteria (which may differ from the criteria and requirements of the state where the training was delivered).


Needs that the project aims to address

In order to go to the next stage of recognition of cross-border training, further work needs to be carried out with the objective of easing the recognition process in a cross-border context, to be of benefit to Bars and Law Societies and lawyers.

There will be in-depth research undertaken of the regimes for such training and recognition in the Member States, in order to identify the common points and the points where the regimes do not match. There will then be in-depth discussion of how a system of automatic recognition could be built, in the light of the findings of the research. Finally, an evaluation will be established of how automatic recognition might work in this area.

Major objectives to be attained

The project is divided into 3 different phases, and each phase deals with an important objective:

  1. to complete the research undertaken by the CCBE in 2015 and 2016 on national mandatory continuing training regimes in order to have a full understanding of the current situation of mutual recognition of cross-border training in EU Member States;
  1. to produce recommendation(s) that will aim at the principle of automatic recognition of training in another Member State;
  1. to evaluate with Bars and Law Societies of some EU Member States as to how recognition based on the recommendation(s) would work.

Each of these activities, which pursue the specific objective of each phase, will be translated into the project’s deliverables.


Target group

The target group of this project are Bars and Law Societies and lawyers since the issue to be addressed is the recognition of training undertaken by lawyers in other EU Member States. This is a very specific issue that affects lawyers and their continuing legal education, and for that reason the project is focused on what Bars and Law Societies may have to put into practice to facilitate the recognition of training pursued by lawyers in other EU Member States other than those where they are registered as lawyers.

The REFOTRA project is implemented by the European Lawyers Foundation and the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE).


This project is financed with the support of the Justice Programme of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the project’s partners and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.

Third Annual StreetLaw Best Practice Conference: “Impact and Influence”

July 21st, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink



The theme for this year’s conference is Impact and Influence. The organisers ask that you send proposed abstracts around the theme of Impact, for inclusion in the programme, to Sue Bulleyand Lisa Woolley at Sheffield Hallam University.

For more information

The Diploma Centre of the Law Society of Ireland’s Use of Technology

July 21st, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink



Rory O'Boyle, Diploma Manager, Law Society of Ireland

Rory O’Boyle, Diploma Manager, Law Society of Ireland

In 2014 the Diploma Centre launched the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in Aviation. This course ran for six weeks and covered an introduction to aviation leasing and finance and its beginnings in Ireland, technical basics, legal, financial and commercial.  In 2015 we focused on the growing area of Technology Law. Technology has brought exponential change not only in our personal lives but also in professional practice, in terms of how legal practice is managed, the software used and the legal issues confronting clients in business. The MOOC, ‘Understanding the law in a digital age’, explored emerging issues of relevance to entrepreneurs who seek to exploit opportunities in this digital age and to existing organisations who must engage online to prosper. It also examined the importance of regulation, data protection, online privacy and the legal implications of rapidly-growing use of social media.

Dr Freda Grealy, Head of Diplomas, Law Society of Ireland

Dr Freda Grealy, Head of Diplomas, Law Society of Ireland

Our 2016 MOOC ‘Privacy, a human right for the digital age’, was delivered online over five weeks and comprised presentations from experts in data protection and digital privacy, live online discussions and assessments, and the balance between an individual’s right to privacy and the efficient use of data by companies and other organisations. Specific content such as cyber security threats, the EU-US Privacy Shield – or the ‘Safe Harbour’ agreement as it is known – and the impact of emerging technology, including drones and ‘the internet of things’, are extremely topical and of interest to a wide range of people.
In 2017 we delivered a MOOC on the topic of ‘Employment Law in the digital era: Brexit, borders and offices without walls; challenges and impacts in uncertain times’. This was our biggest free online course to date, and attracted over 3,200 students. The course explored contemporary employment issues including social media in the workplace, equality and the law, dispute resolution mechanisms and hiring post-Brexit: why Ireland works as an alternative.
The MOOC has vastly increased our ability to provide free, accessible, on-demand and insightful content to our members and the wider community. However, it is the international dimension that has been truly game-changing. Participants from countries as wide-ranging as Botswana, Brazil, Latvia and Australia are now – digitally, at least – sitting side-by-side engaging with our Irish legal experts,” “The great number of participants illustrates how relevant and up to date the course material is,” according to Law Society Director of Education T P Kennedy.
We will also be running a new MOOC in 2018, Keep an eye on our website and social media channels for more information early next year.

ERA-CCBE Young lawyers Contest “EU Law in practice”

March 19th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink


The “Academy of European Law in Trier” and the CCBE are organising the Young lawyers Contest “EU Law in practice” (September 6-7, 2018).

Aim of the contest

The contest will bring together young and newly-qualified lawyers to spotlight the importance of European law for their future legal practice.

In teams composed of contestants from different European countries, they will be challenged to apply their knowledge of European law in practical role-play scenarios. Under the watchful eye of a jury of leading European law practitioners, they will learn to work with peers from other legal cultures to build strong cases in areas as diverse as business law, criminal justice and human rights.

The contestants will be judged both on their knowledge of European law and on their advocacy skills in drafting written arguments, conducting negotiations and pleading before a judge.

The contest is an opportunity for national and regional Bars to encourage their young lawyers to get excited about European law and to learn how to use it to improve their day-to-day practice.

Format and award

The contest will consist of three rounds. A carefully selected jury will rank the teams after each round. Only the two best teams will go through to the third and final round.

All participants will receive membership of the Friends of ERA Association, giving them access to useful European law resources and a network of practitioners from across Europe.

The members of the winning team will receive a voucher for free participation in an ERA event of their choice, including the cost of travel and accommodation.

All participants will also receive a certificate which they can use to fulfil their required number of continuing training hours if their Bar permits.

The contest will be conducted in English. Participants should be able to use it as a working language.


The contest is open to trainee lawyers and newly qualified lawyers (in their first year after qualification) from the member Bars of the CCBE.

There will be eight teams, each of three contestants. Each participating Bar may register up to three contestants. If a Bar wishes to register more than three contestants, these will be placed on a reserve list.

Registrations will be processed in the order of their arrival.

Fees and expenses

The participation fee per contestant is €640. This covers all accommodation and catering for contestants, as well as the organisational expenses. Participating Bars will be asked to cover the travel costs of their participants.


Bars wishing to participate in the contest should inform the CCBE ( The deadline to nominate contestants is 12 April 2018.

Additional information:


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

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”.