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Presentation of the Documentation Centre

About the Documentation Centre

In the year 1996, inspired by the success of the Institute for the Law of the Legal Profession (Institut für Anwaltsrecht) which was established in 1989 in Cologne, the German Federal Bar (BRAK), the German Bar Association (DAV), the University of Cologne and the Institute for the Law of the Legal Profession set up a joint research unit dedicated to monitoring and analyzing developments and trends in European legal practice and the legal professions world-wide ? the Documentation Centre For The Law of The Legal Profession in Europe.

The philosophy of both institutions is to bridge the gap between the legal profession and its governing bodies and academics and universities which provide the education and training for future lawyers. The hybrid concept allows in-depth academic research of practical issues of lawyering that supports the day-to-day work of the profession?s institutions.

Funds for the Documentation Centre are provided by the German Federal Bar (Bundesrechtsanwaltskammer - BRAK), the German Bar Association (Deutscher AnwaltVerein - DAV), the Hans-Soldan-Foundation and the German Federal Chamber of Notaries (Bundesnotarkammer ? BNotK), which joined the Documentation Centre in 2001.

What the Documentation Centre does

While the research of the Institute for the Law of the Legal Profession is focused on national law ? the Institute?s directors are leading academics in the field of legal ethics and practice and authors of a commentary on the German Legal Profession Act ? the Documentation Centre complements the Institute?s activities with an international approach.

European Law in relation to lawyers is one main field of research. This has resulted in a number of publications on the EU Directives 77/249, 89/48 and 98/5 governing the cross-border legal practice of lawyers in the EU. Other activities include research on the globalization of legal practice, conflict of interests, remuneration issues, mediation, access to justice (legal aid, litigation insurance, speculative funding) and professional partnerships.

The Documentation Centre has started to make available on its web-site information about the legal professions in different countries.

Future plans include publication of a comprehensive hand-book on lawyering and trans-national legal practice in the countries of the EU in German language.

What the Documentation Centre offers 

The Documentation Centre houses a small, but comprehensive library of books and other publications on the legal profession from more than 20 European and overseas countries. Many European bar associations furnish the library with their bar journals and publications.

Upon appointment, the library is open to the public.

The Documentation Centre also gathers legislative material from the European countries to provide information for comparative research.

Staff members are available to deal with requests and provide information.