Cooperation with CCBE sets high standards for Belarusian lawyers
A few days ago the Belarusian National Bar Association informed about a probability of cooperation with the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), an organization that has repeatedly criticized the flaws in the work of Belarusian counsels after the events of December 19, 2010 in Minsk.
For over half a century, CCBE has been at the forefront of promoting the views of European lawyers and the protection of the legal principles on which the democracy and the rule of law are based. The organization works in close cooperation with human rights activists outside Europe.
In February 2011, the organization urged the Minister of Justice of Belarus to address numerous violations of international standards of human rights in connection with the obstacles in access to legal advice by arrested participants in a peaceful protest of December 19, 2010, as well as the facts of intimidation of lawyers who informed the media about the problems that their clients encountered while in custody.
Another clear signal to the Belarusian authorities was the CCBE’s Human Rights Awardreceived in 2012 by Pavel Sapelka, lawyer of political prisoners, who was expelled from the Minsk City Bar Association at the request of the Ministry of Justice. The prize is awarded to lawyers or legal organizations that “glorify the legal profession, by maintaining the highest values of professional and personal conduct in the field of human rights”.