On 31 August, the European Commission published a call for proposals for action grants to support transnational projects on judicial training covering civil law, criminal law, fundamental rights and fight against terrorism and radicalization. The deadline for submitting projects is now only 6 weeks away, on 16 November 2015. New top priorities this year are radicalization and fight against terrorism. Exchange of lawyers can also be funded through this programme. More information about these action grants can be found here.
Scotland – The Faculty of Advocates has launched a new website, which aims to provide the public and practitioners with full and useful information about the Scottish bar and its members, for more information See Faculty of Advocates.
In its position of 11 September 2015, the CCBE “recognises that Bars and Law Societies must ensure that they comply with their EU obligation and seeks to ensure that Bars and Law Societies consider, and properly assess, applications from semi-qualified candidates who wish to start or continue their legal training outside their home jurisdictions. The CCBE notes that such qualifications should be assessed “having regard to the nature and duration of the studies and practical training” (Morgenbesser §§67-68)”. Furthermore, the CCBE “notes that one of the recent amendments to Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of Professional Qualifications, by Directive 2013/55/EU, introduced the notion that a ‘professional traineeship’ required for access to a regulated profession carried out in one Member State, access to which could have been facilitated by the Morgenbesser case law, must be recognised by a relevant Competent Authority in another Member State”. (See CCBE position on the Morgenbesser case law (EN, FR) & all information related to the case of Morgenbesser on the CCBE website.)
England and Wales – The Legal Services Board and Legal Services Consumer Panel promote unbundling of legal services, see for more information here.
Bars and Law Societies might benefit from EU funding for mobility projects for trainee lawyers. In order to find out whether trainee lawyers of your country are eligible, please contact the relevant national agency of Erasmus +.
In a recent session of the European Parliament, Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska (DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs) stated that a Commission report on liberal professions – to be finalised around the end of the year – will deal with education and training of liberal professions: “The first block [of the report] is entrepreneurship, education and training, because liberal professionals need to acquire managerial and entrepreneurial skills. I would like in this place to highlight that liberal professionals can already benefit from the exchange programme Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs.” The Commissioner’s comments are available here. Information about the Commission programme ‘Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs’ can be downloaded here.
On 29-30 October 2015 the European Commission conference will hold a conference in Brussels dedicated to the training of court staff and bailiffs. The conference should help in identifying areas for improvement in the training of these professions, and encourage cooperation between their respective training providers.
The chair of the CCBE Training committee, Pier Giovanni Traversa, will participate in the conference to speak about the work of the CCBE Training committee, and the European Commission funded projects relating to lawyers, i.e. the European Training Platform and the Study on training of lawyers in European Union law.
For more information see European Commission: European Judicial Training – conference webpage.
The revised professional qualifications Directive 2013/55/EU comes into force.
This Directive, which amends the Professional Qualifications Directive 2005/36/EC, should be implemented in all the Member States by January 2016. It contains multiple amendments to the professional qualifications Directive including provisions to facilitate the recognition of cross-border professional traineeships in all Member States, and a European-wide review on restriction on access to practice law.
After two years of work, the CCBE presented, in January 2015, the results of the EU funded project on developing a European Training Platform. Through the European Training Platform lawyers will be able to search for training activities throughout the European Union. A lawyer from Portugal, for instance, can search for training courses not only in Portugal but in any other country of the European Union, specifying the town in which he or she would like to do the training, the practice area and language(s). It is hoped that the platform will go live on the e-Justice portal in 2016.
In autumn 2014 the Austrian Lawyers’ Academy (AWAK) introduced a new – charge free – e-learning programme. This service is open to all seminar participants and enables a modern and specific preparation for the Bar exam. A catalogue of questions covering all areas of law that are relevant for the Bar exam and drawn up by experienced judges, prosecutors, university professors and lawyers provides optimal support to trainee lawyers for preparing their exam. The e-learning programme is a valuable tool to monitor the learning progress and to check the learner´s knowledge.