BETA


2006/2534(RSP) Resolution on the legal professions and the general interest in the functioning of legal systems

Progress: Procedure completed

Legal Basis:
RoP 136-p5

Events

2006/06/30
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2006/04/19
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2006/03/23
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2006/03/23
   EP - Decision by Parliament
Details

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the legal professions and the general interest in the functioning of legal systems. It r ecognised fully the crucial role played by the legal professions in a democratic society to guarantee respect for fundamental rights, the rule of law and security in the application of the law, both when lawyers represent and defend clients in court and when they are giving their clients legal advice. Parliament noted the high qualifications required for access to the legal professions, the need to protect those qualifications that characterise the legal professions, and the need to establish a specific relationship based on trust between members of the legal professions and their clients. It reaffirmed the importance of rules to ensure the independence and responsibility of members of the legal professions, and welcomed the Commission's recognition that reforms are best carried out at national level and that the authorities of the Member States are in the best position to define the rules that apply to legal professions.

Each type of activity of a professional body must be looked at separately, so that the rules on competition are applied to the association only when it is acting exclusively in the interests of its members and not when it is acting in the general interest. Unregulated price competition between legal professionals leads to a reduction in the quality of the service provided operates to the detriment of consumers. Parliament reminded the Commission that the aims of the rules governing legal services are the protection of the general public, the guaranteeing of the right of defence and access to justice, and security in the application of the law. For these reasons they cannot be tailored to the degree of sophistication of the client. It encouraged professional bodies to establish codes of conduct at European level, including rules relating to organisational matters, qualifications, professional ethics, supervision, liability and communications, in order to ensure that the ultimate consumers of legal services are provided with the necessary guarantees in relation to integrity and experience. The Commission was invited to take account of the specific role of the legal professions in a society governed by the rule of law, and to carry out a thorough analysis of how markets in legal services operate when the Commission promotes a "less regulation, better regulation" principle. Parliament also invited the Commission to apply the competition rules, where applicable, in compliance with the case-law of the Court of Justice.

It considered that the public interests overriding EU competition principles are to be found in the legal system of the Member State, and that there is no such thing as an EU public-interest test, however defined. The Commission should not to apply EU competition law to matters which, under the EU constitutional framework, are left to the jurisdiction of the Member States, such as access to justice, which includes issues such as the fee schedules to be applied by courts to liquidate lawyers" fees.

Documents
2006/03/23
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2006/03/22
   EP - Motion for a resolution
Documents
2006/03/15
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2006/03/13
   EP - Oral question/interpellation by Parliament
Documents

Documents

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

docs/0/docs/0/url
Old
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/B-6-2006-0005_EN.html
New
https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/B-6-2006-0005_EN.html
docs/1/docs/0/url
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http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/B-6-2006-0203_EN.html
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https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/B-6-2006-0203_EN.html
docs/2/docs/0/url
/oeil/spdoc.do?i=11749&j=0&l=en
events/0/docs/0/url
Old
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20060315&type=CRE
New
https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/EN&reference=20060315&type=CRE
events/2
date
2006-03-23T00:00:00
type
Decision by Parliament
body
EP
docs
url: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-6-2006-0108_EN.html title: T6-0108/2006
summary
events/2
date
2006-03-23T00:00:00
type
Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
body
EP
docs
url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-6-2006-0108_EN.html title: T6-0108/2006
summary
procedure/legal_basis/0
Rules of Procedure EP 136-p5
procedure/legal_basis/0
Rules of Procedure EP 128-p5
docs/0/docs/0/url
Old
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=B6-2006-5&language=EN
New
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/B-6-2006-0005_EN.html
docs/1/docs/0/url
Old
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=B6-2006-203&language=EN
New
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/B-6-2006-0203_EN.html
docs/2/body
EC
docs/3/body
EC
events/2/docs/0/url
Old
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P6-TA-2006-108
New
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-6-2006-0108_EN.html
activities
  • date: 2006-03-15T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20060315&type=CRE type: Debate in Parliament title: Debate in Parliament body: EP type: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2006-03-23T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=11749&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P6-TA-2006-108 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T6-0108/2006 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
committees
    docs
    • date: 2006-03-13T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=B6-2006-5&language=EN title: B6-0005/2006 type: Oral question/interpellation by Parliament body: EP
    • date: 2006-03-22T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=B6-2006-203&language=EN title: B6-0203/2006 type: Motion for a resolution body: EP
    • date: 2006-04-19T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=11749&j=0&l=en title: SP(2006)1725 type: Commission response to text adopted in plenary
    • date: 2006-06-30T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=11749&j=1&l=en title: SP(2006)1918 type: Commission response to text adopted in plenary
    events
    • date: 2006-03-15T00:00:00 type: Debate in Parliament body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20060315&type=CRE title: Debate in Parliament
    • date: 2006-03-23T00:00:00 type: Results of vote in Parliament body: EP docs: url: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=11749&l=en title: Results of vote in Parliament
    • date: 2006-03-23T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P6-TA-2006-108 title: T6-0108/2006 summary: The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the legal professions and the general interest in the functioning of legal systems. It r ecognised fully the crucial role played by the legal professions in a democratic society to guarantee respect for fundamental rights, the rule of law and security in the application of the law, both when lawyers represent and defend clients in court and when they are giving their clients legal advice. Parliament noted the high qualifications required for access to the legal professions, the need to protect those qualifications that characterise the legal professions, and the need to establish a specific relationship based on trust between members of the legal professions and their clients. It reaffirmed the importance of rules to ensure the independence and responsibility of members of the legal professions, and welcomed the Commission's recognition that reforms are best carried out at national level and that the authorities of the Member States are in the best position to define the rules that apply to legal professions. Each type of activity of a professional body must be looked at separately, so that the rules on competition are applied to the association only when it is acting exclusively in the interests of its members and not when it is acting in the general interest. Unregulated price competition between legal professionals leads to a reduction in the quality of the service provided operates to the detriment of consumers. Parliament reminded the Commission that the aims of the rules governing legal services are the protection of the general public, the guaranteeing of the right of defence and access to justice, and security in the application of the law. For these reasons they cannot be tailored to the degree of sophistication of the client. It encouraged professional bodies to establish codes of conduct at European level, including rules relating to organisational matters, qualifications, professional ethics, supervision, liability and communications, in order to ensure that the ultimate consumers of legal services are provided with the necessary guarantees in relation to integrity and experience. The Commission was invited to take account of the specific role of the legal professions in a society governed by the rule of law, and to carry out a thorough analysis of how markets in legal services operate when the Commission promotes a "less regulation, better regulation" principle. Parliament also invited the Commission to apply the competition rules, where applicable, in compliance with the case-law of the Court of Justice. It considered that the public interests overriding EU competition principles are to be found in the legal system of the Member State, and that there is no such thing as an EU public-interest test, however defined. The Commission should not to apply EU competition law to matters which, under the EU constitutional framework, are left to the jurisdiction of the Member States, such as access to justice, which includes issues such as the fee schedules to be applied by courts to liquidate lawyers" fees.
    • date: 2006-03-23T00:00:00 type: End of procedure in Parliament body: EP
    links
    other
      procedure/legal_basis/0
      Rules of Procedure EP 128-p5
      procedure/legal_basis/0
      Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 128-p5
      procedure/subject
      Old
      • 2.40.01 Right of establishment
      • 2.60 Competition
      New
      2.40.01
      Right of establishment
      2.60
      Competition
      procedure/subtype
      Old
      Debate or resolution on oral questions
      New
      Debate or resolution on oral question/interpellation
      activities
      • date: 2006-03-15T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20060315&type=CRE type: Debate in Parliament title: Debate in Parliament body: EP type: Debate in Parliament
      • date: 2006-03-23T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=11749&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P6-TA-2006-108 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T6-0108/2006 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
      committees
        links
        other
          procedure
          reference
          2006/2534(RSP)
          title
          Resolution on the legal professions and the general interest in the functioning of legal systems
          legal_basis
          Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 128-p5
          stage_reached
          Procedure completed
          subtype
          Debate or resolution on oral questions
          type
          RSP - Resolutions on topical subjects
          subject