HARMONIZATION OF THE LEGAL ETHICS IN THE EUROPEAN INTEGRATION PROCESS
Lawyers are essential for the appreciation and application of the rule of law, so the
legal profession requires fulfillment of the highest ethical standards for professional conduct.
The continued European Integration process and the increasing frequency of the cross-border
activities of lawyers made necessary the statement of common rules of legal ethics to mitigate
the difficulties that arise from the “double deontology”. The core ethical principles developed
within the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe express the common ground of
otherwise various and divergent legal systems in Europe.
The development of the European legal ethics contributes the sharing of European values
and gaining the European identity, while at the same time it promotes the status of the legal
profession and protects its independence. Hence, the process of harmonization of the legal
ethics is very significant in the context of the European Integration, especially ‘integration
through law’. Adoption of the legal ethics rules is also necessary for effective exercise by the
lawyers of the freedom to provide services, as one of the four bases of the EU internal market.
These principles are also part of the content of the Chapter 23 - Judiciary and Fundamental
Rights of EU acquis, which has become the key to EU accession.
The aim of this paper is to examine the harmonization of legal ethics in Europe and
its significance in the context of the European integration, by analyzing the Charter of Core
Principles of the European Legal Profession and the Code of Conduct for European Lawyers
as the main instruments of this process, thus contributing to harmonization of the legal ethics
in our country with the European standards.