In the sixth episode of our rule of law podcast #DefendingTheDefenders with Deutscher Anwaltverein, we talk about the European Union and the state of the professional freedom of attorneys there. Within the jurisdiction of the European Union, there are a number of issues attorneys and their associations are worried about. The right to defence and legal services as well as the attorney-client-relationship is being targeted in an unjustified manner in areas such as the fight against money laundering or terrorism as well as in sanctions packages against Russian corporations in the wake of Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine, they say. EU institutions feel differently, however. They see the instruments under criticism as a proportionate way to address the professional freedom of lawyers as well as the right to defence on the one side and general interests on the other side. We talk to both sides to learn more about the concerns and the regulators‘ reasons.
Our guests in this episode are James MacGuill, the president of the Council of Bars and Law Societies in Europe (CCBE) in 2022, and Florian Geyer, Head of Unit in the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers at the European Commission.