Declaration of European Lawyers concerning the elections in the European Union and in France

On 9 June 2024, following the results of the European elections in which far-right political forces sadly came out on top in France and Italy, we, lawyers, who work to ensure respect for democracy and the rule of law, cannot remain silent in the face of the rise of these forces, which are the enemies to our values of freedom, equality and justice. 

We are on the front line when it comes to measuring the impact of freedom-destroying reforms, discriminatory policies and measures that undermine individual freedoms, which are adopted by governments led or composed of these far-right forces. 

In recent years, European countries such as Hungary, Poland and Italy have fallen prey to the siren calls of the far right, and every day we see how these political forces attack fundamental rights when they come to power. 

They are more and more embedded in our societies and seizing control of democratic institutions to gradually destroy the rule of law and, through it, the foundations of our democracies.

The weakening of constitutional control, the undermining of the European Court of Human Rights, the attacks on lawyers’ freedom of expression, the attacks on the independence of the judiciary, the regression of individual and collective social rights, are all common features of the Polish, Hungarian and Italian regimes.

However, we are convinced that far right-wing forces who threaten individual freedoms will always find lawyers in their path to counter their programmes to dismantle democratic societies.

Convinced of the role of the legal profession and the legal community as a whole in the preservation and realisation of the rule of law, access to justice and the independence of the judiciary, we express our unwavering attachment to the fundamental European values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities, values common to the Member States and the European States in societies characterised by pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men.

Firmly committed to human rights, we will therefore fight for a democratic justice system in which everyone who is subject to a trial can exercise his and her rights with dignity and be

assured of a fair trial. 

  • European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights (ELDH)
  • Avocats Européens Démocrates/ European Democratic Lawyers (AED/EDL)

2nd of July 2024, Athens, Berlin, Bern, Bilbao, Brussels,  Istanbul, London, Madrid, Paris, Rome