Commission refers Greece to the Court of Justice over restrictions on mediation services

May 4th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Press release of the European Commission of 27 April 2017:

Services: Commission refers GREECE to the Court of Justice over restrictions on mediation services

The European Commission has today decided to take Greece to the Court of Justice of the EU on the grounds that Greek legislation on providers of mediation training services and on the recognition of the professional qualifications of mediators obtained in other EU Member States is against EU law. Mediation is a process where two or more parties attempt to settle their dispute with the assistance of a mediator. In Greece, only non-profit companies set up by at least one Greek Bar association and one of the Greek Chambers are allowed to provide training to future mediators. The Commission considers that such requirements on legal form and shareholding structure are contrary to the freedom of establishment (Article 49 TFEU) as well as the Services Directive (Article 15 of Directive 2006/123/EC). The Commission also considers that in Greece, the recognition of mediator qualifications obtained in other EU Member States is subject to discriminatory and disproportionate conditions. These conditions are incompatible with the freedom of establishment (Article 49 TFEU), the free movement of workers (Article 45 TFEU) and the Directive on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications (Directive 2005/36/EC). Since Greece has not taken the necessary measures to bring its legislation in line with EU rules following the Commission’s reasoned opinion in February 2016, the Commission has decided to refer Greece to the Court of Justice of the EU.

See April Infringements Package: Key Decisions

World Bank Comparative Analysis of Bars and Law Societies

March 14th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The report analyses and compares the structure, role and tasks of Bars and Law Societies in select European jurisdictions: Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, England and Wales, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Serbia, and Spain.

As far as ‘Entrance to the Bar‘ is concerned, the Report states:

“The requirements for entrance to the bar are similar across the selected jurisdictions. To qualify as a member to the bar in EU jurisdictions, a person needs to hold a master’s degree in law (LL.M.) from an EU or EEA country. Practical legal work experience is also required, as well as passing the Bar Exam and taking the oath. Once the person becomes a member of the bar, he or she is required to pay an entrance fee and/or annual or monthly fees. Membership in a bar is the normal step to becoming a full-fledged lawyer and to gain the right to practice the profession and represent clients before the court.” (For details, see pages 10 and following of the Report).

The report can be downloaded here.