2012: report on the work year of the European and International Affairs Commission (CAEI)

The year 2012 closed and the European and International Affairs Commission (CAEI) is still just at the beginning of its work. It has deeply involved in several international debates on the future of the legal profession in France and abroad. These include:

2012: report on the work year of the European and International Affairs Commission (CAEI)
● the promotion of Continental law, the creation in the English legal domain of Alternative Business Structures (ABS),

● to continue supporting the Tunisian and Kazakh Bars that have asked for our help and our moral support for the lawyers persecuted in Turkey and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,

the CAEI has been known to mobilize the profession's stakeholders to work for the preservation of our basic principles and of the rights and freedoms of all citizens of the world.

• In Europe

The CAEI is keenly aware that the future of the legal profession will be decided on the basis of European regulation.

Thus, the positions and stances decreed in 2012 by the Conseil national on the cited ABS, on the anti-money laundering directives of the European Union, on the suggested directive on the right-to-representation, or on the proposed adaptations to the Services Directive, have made their influence felt in Europe, through the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE). The recent election of Michel Bénichou to the presidency of CCBE must also increase the influence of the French Bar in Europe.

The CAEI has also wanted to develop a closer working relationship with the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) whose goal is to improve the efficiency and functioning of justice in the member states of the European Council. Jean-Paul Jean, president of CEPEJ's working group for the assessment of judicial systems, was also invited to the CAEI meeting on last December 14th to speak on the principal trends in the CEPEJ 2012 report.

• In Africa

The opening of the session was devoted to a specific focus on the Maghreb countries in order to give these Bar Associations the assistance they requested:

Tunisia : President Christian Charrière-Bournazel invited Chawki Tabib, President of the Tunisian Bar, to the General Meeting on June 15, 2012, in order to re-initiate cooperation between the two institutions, which are already connected by an agreement signed in 2008. A training program for Tunisian lawyers for the judicial year 2012-2013 is being prepared by the two countries. Furthermore, the President was invited to the ceremonial re-opening of the Tunisian Bar on January 11, 2013. He will be honored on this occasion for the support he has shown them since the Jasmine Revolution.

Algiers: French lawyers participated in the Convention of Mediterranean Jurists, held December 9th and 10th in Algiers. While at this event, the Conseil national organized a meeting between the French and Algerian Bar Associations, which are connected by a twinning agreement, for the purpose of working on common projects. The Conseil national's goal is to conclude a cooperation agreement in 2013 that will specifically work to support the training of Algerian lawyers, and will also serve to welcome Algerian lawyers in-training to France, reciprocally.

Morocco : President Charrière-Bournazel, accompanied by President Bertrand Debosque, CAEI president, arrived in Morocco on July 13, 2012 on a mission to strengthen the ties uniting the Conseil national and the Bar Associations of Morocco. An agreement which includes advances on the matter of access to the profession on both sides of the Mediterranean shall be signed at the Annual Moroccan Congress to be held in May 2013. Furthermore, the Conseil national organized a colloquium on the topic "When Franco-Moroccan Marriages Break Up", set for April 25, 2013 in Marrakech.

Also, the Conseil national des barreaux decided to make a greater investment in the work of the "Organisation pour l'Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires (OHADA)" as well as in the International Conference of Bar Associations sharing a legal tradition (CIB), which is comprised mostly of the bar associations of French-speaking Africa.

● A colloquium shall also be organized in Paris in September or October of 2013, to mark the 20 years of partnership between OHADA and CIB.
● Also, at the request of the greatly missed Mario Stasi, former Secretary General of CIB, the Conseil national committed to the Annual Congress of the CIB which was held in Rwanda from December 17 to 20, 2012.

• In Latin America

The Conseil national wanted to bring its work to Latin America, in particular to Brazil, by organizing a colloquium in collaboration the Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil (OAB) on the subject of "the various means of monitoring constitutionality and the essential question of constitutionality (QPC)" which was held last December 5 at the headquarters of the Conseil national des barreaux.

• International Visibility of the French Bar

● The promotion of the French model of professional organization and the tools of Continental law happen through the authority and working groups of the Fondation pour le droit continental, of the JCI (Justice International Cooperation), but also through our presence at the major international legal events of the American Bar Association (ABA), the International Bar Association (IBA), or the International Lawyers' Union (UIA). Such trips facilitate the development of promotional partnerships, like the one with the ABA's "Center for Human Rights", which is co-sponsoring with the Conseil national a symposium on the subject "The international responsibility of corporations which are active in areas of conflict", on March 21, 2013 in Paris.

● The visibility of the French Bar is also achieved by welcoming numerous foreign Bar Association delegations to working and training sessions. In 2012, the Conseil national welcomed visitors from the Vietnamese, Japanese, Uzbek, Tunisian, Egyptian, American, Canadian and Russian Bar Associations. Due to the presence of numerous foreign delegations at the Convention Nationale des Avocats held in Nantes in 2011, and at the Extraordinary General Assembly held in Paris in 2012, we can hope for a significant number of our foreign colleagues at the next national Convention at Montpellier in 2014.

● Finally, the CAEI has implemented new communication tools with its re-launch of the International Newsletter, directed to both French lawyers and foreign institutions and bar associations, translated into several languages, and by creating an "International" section on our website that will be available in the first quarter of 2013, in both English and Spanish.

• Actions directed to French Bars

International policy is not only limited to actions in foreign countries, but is also an outreach to French lawyers and bar associations, with the goal of motivating them to open up to international cooperation:

● Launching bi-annual meetings with the Presidents of the international committees of French bar associations, the last one being held on July 12, 2012, and the next being scheduled for February 2013.
● Setting up an online guide to best practices with regard to twinning and a list of existing partnerships in France,
● Launching an active exchange policy for training students or young French lawyers and their foreign counterparts,
● Reactivation of the export aid policy of the Caisse des Dépôts which has made a 10 million Euro line of credit available to the profession for the establishment of branch offices abroad.

To learn more...
● Grands enjeux et priorités d’actions pour 2012-2014 - Interview du Président Debosque - Actualité du 2 février 2012
● La commission des affaires internationales au travail : les actions engagées sur 2012 - Actualité du 13 juin 2012

This article has been translated into Spanish by Xplanation Language Services - www.xplanation.comPartner of the CNB
This article has been translated into English by Xplanation Language Services - www.xplanation.comPartner of the CNB
This article is also available in French

Jeudi 3 Janvier 2013