Dangerous Liaisons. Women, Lawyers and Judges since the 1980s
Distinguished Presidents and Dear Friends, among the changes introduced by Law no. 247/2012, Art. 25, last paragraph, the Equal Opportunity Commitee (Comitato per le Pari Opportunità, hereafter CPO), with elective modes, is now a constitutional obligation for the Bar Councils (Consigli dell’Ordine). The regulation, as you know, enforces immediate application.
Given the exclusive authority of the Bar Councils, and for the sole purpose of providing an adequate response to the requests of many of them, the Italian Bar Council (Consiglio nazionale forense, hereafter CNF) has set up as a work tool a regulation draft (see attachment) for the establishment of such a body. Local Bar Councils may of course adapt it to respond better to the needs of their respective areas. I have a duty to communicate that the draft is the result of the work of the CPO of the CNF, whose work, subject to collection and examination of the regulations adopted by the 60 CPO’s already constituted, has sought to adopt a methodology that is both unified and already used in common by most of them. For any doubt or question about the document, you may contact Councillor Pisano, coordinator of our CPO.
The President, Attorney and Professor Guido Alpa.With this circular, sent to the 165 Bar Council presidents on February 27, 2013, the CNF has sought to coordinate in a unified fashion a process that has been under way for several years in some Italian areas, where Bar Councils had set up, independently, Equal Opportunity Committees (CPO), of which by mid-2006 there were already 36. The initiative is a direct consequence of the application of the long-awaited new legal professions legislation, which in its general outlines goes back to 1933, and which since the end of the Second World War has been characterized by a “fragmentary and at times random legislative flood”.
It institutionalizes what had been till then a voluntary initiative, which among other things had stimulated a new fruitful discussion among experts and historians on the question of women in the legal professions.The new law comes in the aftermath of the decree of the President of the Republic in August 2012, which had set down the rules for the reform of professional organizations (August 7, 2012, no. 137: www.cnf.ipsoa.it), and marks the great changes in the practice of law which have taken place over the past decades. For example, the introduction of stricter admission rules, the approval of the obligation of ongoing professional upgrading, the possibility of publicizing one’s own activities (though not in a comparative way) and establishing teams of professionals, the reconfirmation of the centrality of public defense, and, lastly, the introduction of the concept of equal opportunity.
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