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.

ERA-CCBE Young Lawyers Competition on EU Law in Practice

November 17th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The Competition, which should have taken place on 7-8 December 2017 in Trier, will be postponed to next year.

Towards a European Education Area by 2025

November 14th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

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The European Commission has set out today out its vision for how to create a European Education Area by 2025.

Amongst the proposals towards a European Area of Education are:

– The mutual recognition of diplomas: by initiating a new ‘Sorbonne process’, building on the “Bologna process”, to prepare the ground for the mutual recognition of higher education and school leaving diplomas;

– Greater cooperation on curricula development: by making recommendations to ensure education systems impart all the knowledge, skills and competences that are deemed essential in today’s world;

– Mainstreaming innovation and digital skills in education: by promoting innovative and digital training and preparing a new Digital Education Action Plan;

The EU Leaders’ meeting on 17 November 2017 in Gothenburg will further discuss the future of education.

For more information, please read the full press release of the European Commission and the factsheets.

Evaluation of the 2011-2020 European judicial training strategy

November 14th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

On 8 November 2017, the Commission has launched its evaluation of the 2011-2020 European judicial training strategy.

The evaluation should feed into the preparation of a new 2019-2025 strategy.

To that end, the Commission published two roadmaps:

The roadmaps, which set out the Commission’s plans, are open for comments until 6 December 2017.

An open publication consultation will be launched by the Commission later this year. The Commission will also organise next year a conference, expert group meetings and interviews which will feed into the evaluation process. The Commission hopes to publish a Communication in September 2018.

According to the roadmaps, new developments to be considered as part of the evaluation are:

– The situation in some Member States, but also in candidate and neighbouring countries, shows that ethics, rule of law and independence of the judiciary are an issue to be addressed, wherever necessary, and that one important priority is to improve and support judicial cooperation in criminal matters, in particular related to counter-terrorism and fighting cybercrime;

– Also training on skills and non-legal topics should be considered both to improve the efficiency of justice and mutual trust among the justice professionals;

– The inclusion of candidate countries, potential candidate countries who all prepare for membership as well as neighbouring countries who wish to model their systems to that of the EU should be considered;

– A reflection should take place on how to complement training activities with access to up-to-date learning material and make the best use of e-justice.

2018 Call for Proposals for Erasmus+

October 25th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Commission press release, 25 October 2017

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The European Commission today published its 2018 Call for Proposals for Erasmus+, the European Union’s programme for mobility and cooperation in education, training, youth and sport.

In total, €2.7 billion in funding are expected to be available from Erasmus+ in 2018 to:

  • promote mobility opportunities for young people, students, trainees, apprentices and international volunteers, as well as for teachers, trainers and youth workers;
  • create or improve partnerships between education, training and youth organisations and with the world of work;
  • support dialogue and evidence-building needed to deliver reform in education, training and youth systems;
  • promote excellence in teaching and research in the field of European studies through the Jean Monnet activities; and
  • support transnational projects in the field of sport, with a focus on grassroots sport.

***

You can read the full European Commission press release here.

Bars and Law Societies might apply for funding (depending on the training rules / structures in place at a national level). See for more information, the post of October 2015.

HELP Online Course on International Cooperation in Criminal Matters

October 4th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

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Source: Council of Europe, HELP

The course can be accessed on the HELP website, click here.

You can now register for the CCBE Training Conference!

October 3rd, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

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14 December 2017, L42 – Rue de la Loi 42, Brussels

The Conference which will discuss ‘Training of lawyers: challenges and opportunities’ is now open for registration.

The programme includes 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 training projects. Furthermore, the conference will give an introduction to the European Training Platform on the e-Justice portal, and will represent a valuable opportunity for training providers and legal professionals to share best practices and innovative solutions for legal training.

Please register your participation by 20 November 2017 at event@ccbe.eu.

Please find the detailed programme for the conference here.

The conference language is English.

Parliamentary question on Erasmus for lawyers & Commission reply

September 28th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Question, Nikos Androulakis (S&D), 8 June 2017

The Athens Association of Trainees and Young Lawyers recently unveiled a proposal for cooperation between the Greek bar associations and those of the other Member States. Under the proposal, trainee lawyers could practise in law firms and offices of another Member State from that where they obtained their degree, which would have multiple benefits for beneficiaries.

It would enable them to enrich their knowledge and acquire experience from different legal systems and, at the same time, it would create the right conditions for the exchange of best practices in the areas of application of European Union law and approximation of national legislations.

— Can such a scheme be funded through Erasmus+ or other financial tools?

— Is the Commission aware of other similar schemes for lawyers that are applied in other Member States?

— How could the Commission contribute to setting up the initiative?

Answer given by Mr Navracsics on behalf of the Commission, 17 August 2017

In higher education, the Erasmus+ Programme offers students and staff transnational mobility to study, teach or carry out traineeships (work placements) abroad. The scheme is open to all higher education students. Traineeships abroad at a workplace are also open to graduates within 12 months after graduation. All this also applies to law students and graduates.

According to the EU definition of Small and Medium-size Enterprises, self-employed professionals, like lawyers are considered entrepreneurs, thus young lawyer exchange schemes might be also covered by Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs. This cross-border exchange programme offers exchange of knowledge and experience and networking opportunities across Europe. The exchange of experience takes place during a stay, partially funded by the EU.

Under the 2016 call for proposals for action grants to support European judicial training of the Justice Programme, the Commission awarded a grant to the European Lawyers Foundation (in cooperation with the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe and national bars).

The MULTILAW project aims at setting up a multilateral exchange of 75 young lawyers with up to 5 years professional experience from Greece, the Netherlands, Spain, Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Romania and France over a period of two weeks, as an experiment for future exchanges. This project will help to increase the knowledge of EC law and share experience and best practices between lawyers practicing in different Member States.

The Commission is not aware of other similar schemes for lawyers applied in other Member States.

Given the scope of the opportunities offered by existing EU initiatives, the Commission does not intend to set up an additional scheme.

Briefing on ‘Economic effects of reform in professional services’

September 28th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The briefing was prepared by Policy Department A for the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee. (External Author: Dr Erik Van Der Marel).

The briefing notes, amongst others, that high entry barriers for professions markets are linked to lower productivity in the EU and that regulatory barriers must consider how a country will carry out any guidelines.

Professional services such as legal, accounting, engineering and architectural still have high entry barriers. Many firms are prevented from emphasising competition in their sectors, whilst these barriers decrease consumer choice and any positive effects of a single European services market. For example, the high restrictions or entry barriers in the legal profession limits the supply of legal services detrimentally impacting on equal access to justice. Higher entry barriers are linked with lower productivity rates in European Union countries overall.

The proportionality test announced in the Services Package shall ensure that professional qualification is justified and proportionate.

Any services reform package in the future from the EU should consider the capability and how well equipped a Member State is in governing that service market.

The brief can be found here.

ERA-CCBE Young Lawyers Competition on EU Law in Practice, 7-8 December 2017, Trier

September 27th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

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The European Academy of Law (ERA) and the CCBE are organising a ‘Young Lawyers Contest: EU law in practice’ which will take place on 7-8 December 2017 in Trier, Germany.

The aim of the Contest is is to bring together future lawyers from different European countries at a time when they are undergoing entry level training to enable them to share common values and to exchange new experiences/discuss new perspectives in areas of common interest.

Bars/Law Societies/Lawyers’ Schools from the following countries will participate: Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Poland and Romania.

As part of the Contest, teams (mixed by nationality, experience etc.) will have to prepare a written report on a legal question/oral defence session and a negotiating exercise. The two best teams will take part in the final oral debate.

Information about the Contest can be found here.