May 8, 2019
The recommendations published today follow the Conference on the Independence of the Legal profession held by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the Council of Europe (CoE) Office in Baku and the Azerbaijan Bar Association (ABA) in Baku, on 15-16 November 2018.
The Conference created much-needed space for a dialogue on the issue of independence of lawyers in Azerbaijan with both national and international stakeholders, as lawyers from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Uzbekistan shared their experiences and good practices in addressing challenges to the independence of lawyers. Drawing on the discussions at the Conference, and taking into account key findings of the ICJ report of 2016 “Defenceless Defenders: Systemic Problems in the Legal Profession of Azerbaijan” as well as more recent legislative and administrative developments, the ICJ makes recommendations aimed at strengthening the role and independence of lawyers and improving access to justice in Azerbaijan. The recommendations are informed by international law and standards on the role of lawyers and cover four main aspects: adequacy of the number of lawyers to ensure access to justice; the examination procedure for qualification as a lawyer; professional ethics of lawyers and disciplinary proceedings against lawyers.