Network “European Lawyers for Workers“ ELW has been founded

Labour Lawyers all over Europe may join

The founding document of the Network

“European Lawyers for Workers“ ELW

Aims of the Network

1.    The aim of the Network is to support workers, workers representatives (for example works councils) and trade unions in advancing their interests.  The Network promotes the transfer of knowledge among its members especially with regard to labour law in the European Union.

2.    The members of the Network consider their work as a contribution to the promotion of the rights of workers, worker representatives and trade unions. The members of the Network, in their legal practices, mainly represent workers, worker representatives and trade unions. The representation of employers is an exception.

3.    The Network also aims to develop a joint presentation of the Network to the public, for example by publishing a brochure or leaflet/setting up a website.


4.    Practising lawyers, joint practices/partnerships of practising lawyers are eligible to be members. Non-practising lawyers may be eligible as well. Organisations other than partnerships of practising lawyers are not eligible to be members.

5.    The plenary assembly of the contact persons will decide upon new membership applications. The coordinating committee may take a provisional decision on a membership application subject to confirmation by the next plenary assembly of the contact persons. Membership may only be terminated in exceptional circumstances upon decision of the plenary assembly of the contact persons.

6.    If a partner joins a practice/partnership which is already a member of the Network, no decision by the plenary assembly of the contact persons is required unless this is demanded by a member of the Network. If a partner leaves a practice/partnership which is member of the Network, the leaving partner and their former practice/partnership may retain membership of the Network without a decision of the plenary assembly of the contact persons unless this is demanded by a member of the Network. This rule is also applicable if a practice/ partnership is split up.

7.    A member may resign on 3 months’ notice.

Operation of the Network

8.    The Network shall work closely with the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights, the European Association of Democratic Lawyers and such other organisations as the plenary assembly of contact persons may from time to time identify.

9.    The members of the Network commit themselves to support each other on the basis of the principles named above.

10.  Members will inform the Network immediately if there are changes in the composition of their joint practice/partnership or if the aims/objectives of their work change.

11.  Members will inform each other if one member is engaged in legal action in the regional area of another member.

12.   Letterheads and websites of members including joint practices/partnerships may contain a reference to membership of the Network.

13.  Each member must provide the name, address, telephone number and email details of a contact person.

Structure of the Network

14.  Plenary Assembly: There will be at least one plenary assembly of the contact persons a year (plenary assembly). The decisions of the plenary assembly have to be unanimous.

15.  Coordinating Committee: For the coordination of the network activities the plenary assembly will elect a coordinating committee which will hold office for one year. Only a member of the network can be member of the coordinating committee. So far as is possible the coordinating committee should contain a member of every country from which the members of the Network come.

16.  It is duty of the coordinating committee to organise the administration of the Network. They do not act as spokespersons or as legal representatives of the Network. The meetings of the plenary assembly and of the coordinating committee are open to all members of the Network.


17.  The plenary assembly will decide once a year upon the regular budget and the budget for special activities like conferences. It will also determine the amount of the membership fee for individual members and practices/partnerships as members.

18. The Network is financed by the annual membership fee, by additional financial contributions of its members, by the support of  trade unions, lawyers’ associations and others.

Meetings and events

19.  The Network will try to organise one open workshop, symposium or conference every year on legal issues relating to the interests workers, worker representatives and trade unions. Each year the event will take place in a different country.  If not all costs of these events are covered by fees they will be borne by all members according to a certain ratio of distribution which will be agreed upon separately.

Brussels, 13th January 2013

The ELW membership application form (PDF-document)