Statewatch article: RefNo# 36577
European bar and law societies demand protection of professional secrecy, citizens' rights and the rule of law
Statewatch News Online, May 2016
From the press release: "On 20 May 2016, at its Plenary Session in Lyon, the CCBE published its recommendations on the protection of client confidentiality within the context of surveillance activities. These recommendations aim not only to protect and ensure the fundamental principles of professional secrecy and legal professional privilege, but more importantly to protect citizens’ rights and the rule of law.

Client confidentiality is a core component of the legal profession, as highlighted in the CCBE Code of Conduct, which says that “the lawyer’s obligation of confidentiality serves the interest of the administration of justice as well as the interest of the client. It is therefore entitled to special protection by the State.”

The purpose of this paper is therefore to inform legislators and policy makers about the standards that must be upheld in order to ensure that professional secrecy and legal professional privilege are not undermined by surveillance practices undertaken by the state."

Press release (pdf): English, French and: CCBE Recommendations on the protection of client confidentiality within the context of surveillance activities (pdf): English, French

The recommendations cover: 1. Overarching principle; 2. Need for legislative control; 3. Scope of admissible interception; 4. Judical and independent oversight: Nature of oversight - Mandate of the oversight body - Powers of the oversight bodies; 5. Use of intercepted material; 6. Legal remedies and sanctions.

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