Pascal Eydoux : The challenge : economics, and digital territories

on October 13, 2017 – Boris STOYKOV and Jean-Paul VIART – Right

© DR – Pascal Eydoux, president of NBC, took advantage of the convention of lawyers to draw up the balance sheet of its action.

The president of the national Council of the bar arrives in December next, at the end of its mandate. He took advantage of the convention of lawyers to draw up the balance sheet of action to the head of the institution in search of a new life.

Posters of Paris : What conclusions can you draw of the two and a half years spent in the presidency of the national Council of the bar ?

Pascal Eydoux : I am wary a little of the balance sheets. I think they are rather made by the successors. When I began my mandate, I reminded everyone that our goal was to do at least as well as my predecessors, and if possible better, to be enthusiastic, energetic, and “conquerors”.

At the end of two and a half years, I have my doubts about the effectiveness of the work that has been ours, even if we know that things have been done, that we have responded to the challenges of a story that was rich and we designed and planned a number of reforms of the professional activity of lawyers.

“Today, there are more physical territories for the exercise professional”

However, I believe that the profession of a lawyer, I hope that it is under the influence of the national bar Council, has referred to the necessity, or the constraint, a (r)evolution. Professional practice evolves to the extent of the changes of the society, under the effects of the digital of course, and the conditions in which the economic partners are working in this global society.

But it is also changing with the needs expressed by individuals, natural persons, or entrepreneurs. The legal profession has long awaited the request of the public or of the economic and social actors. It seems to me that she now understood that it needed to broaden its offer.

The work that we have pursued at the national Council of the bar were helpful and dynamic, driven of course by the events and, in particular, the consequences of the act “Macron”. This last has impacted the legal profession and forcing us to a new conception of the offering and to reflect on our procedures, particularly in terms of territories.

A. P. : This notion of territory is one of the highlights of the convention…

P. E. : I have the desired effect that our convention has adopted as its theme “digital Economy and territories”, since we have grasped the professional practice of advocates, determined by their geographical location, was no longer a design relevant. Today, there are more physical territories for the exercise professional. In other words, where lawyers are physically, they are not exclusively. The “loi Macron” we imposed this disappearance of the postulation territorial-level high courts, with the exception of three materials identified.

The national Council of the bar has accompanied this evolution, which is only at its beginning. We have, moreover, tried to anticipate, of course, insufficiently, in order to make the awareness of all stakeholders of the profession of the requirement to boost, and take ownership of these reforms. The same companies year pluriprofessionnel, they also a result of the act “Macron”, we impose a different vision of the exercise.

Finally, the national bar Council is always faced with this challenge of representing both the lawyer who works in the service of large companies and international, in large firms, and one that occurs in the local customers in the territory, the most remote part of our country. These exercises are so different, that we are faced with a challenge.

A. P. : In this challenge, legal aid seems to be in a good place…

P. E. : The legal aid is actually a folder that is recurring, which advance in small steps. We have evolved ourselves into considering that it was no longer appropriate for counsel to seek additional appropriations, but to mobilize the public Authorities for a total renovation of the system and its financing. These latter are aware of this but, for the moment, have not shown great willingness for structural reform.

“and where lawyers are physically, they are not exclusively”

It was approaching when Christiane Taubira was with the department of Justice. His successor, Jean-Jacques Urvoas, who was a minister of very good will, noted that it had not had the time to carry out the reform. He has worked on a design budget that it was successful.

Today, it is necessary to resume the entire process for a total renovation of the system, remembering that legal aid may not be a folder identification of the professional practice of lawyers. It is a small economic part, even if it is influential, through the presence of the lawyer to the side of the citizens, especially the poorest.

It is a fundamental function of the professional practice, but it can’t be the only image of the profession. The lawyer is an actor in the service of the whole of the economy and its stakeholders.

A.-P. : through all of these challenges, the national Council of the bar recently celebrated its 25 years of existence…

P. E. : I recently met the president of the national Council of intellectual property attorneys who is to come, also, to celebrate its 25 years. We easily agreed that our respective institutions are young.

When we meet with our british friends in the Law Society, we have the centuries that we fall on the shoulders. The national Council of the bar, you enter a building “ordinary” that has not yet History. in London, you have an architecture and organisation, which show that for centuries the Law Society exists and that it is the partner of the lawyers.

“Colleagues need to feel that there is an institution which directly represents to the public Authorities”

The national bar Council is an institution which is not yet reached a cruising speed that is freed of the rivalries between the actors of the profession. We always have the manifestation of a rivalry with the Paris bar, with the Orders, incidentally with the Conference of the chairpersons.

I deplore it all day, hammering on that there can be of competition but of complementarity, on condition that one reads simply the texts, and that everyone respects them. Twenty-five years is a generation. it is not enough to change attitudes. The institutions feed off of the contributions of the generations of the time a lot longer.

A. P. : do you Think that it is necessary to reform the national Council of the bar ?

P. E. : We must get closer to the CNB of lawyers, not of the intermediate structures. For this, I think it’s really necessary that we develop as members of the national bar Council are all elected by direct universal suffrage by all lawyers.

I am convinced that this is the way to overcome the divisions competitive structure. I know my comments do not please everyone, but I am convinced that this is what I want the lawyers. This is the goal.

The CNB is the profession of a lawyer. Therefore, it is not reducible to the ordinalité. This last, orders are orders that embody, with their fundamental mission, considerable, of the local regulators of the financial year. They also have responsibilities as the texts pile up, and that they must assume. They do not have the time and it was not their job to make policy.

They must be operational to professional practice and to leave the national Council of the bars represent the profession in political terms and in terms of vision for the future of the financial year, with of course complementarities. It is therefore necessary that all lawyers take ownership of our institution. I am convinced that in our 67 000 colleagues, the process is gained. It should be the means to succeed, and one of these ways, I believe, is the election mode.

A. P. : This reform could affect the vice-presidencies of law ?

P. E. : The reform of the vice-presidents of law that I reach when I was president of the Conference of chairpersons was intended – that I shared with Christian Charrière-Bournazel, bâtonnier of the Paris of the time – to allow the policy work to develop national bar Council with precisely the contribution of the bâtonnier of Paris and the president of the Conference of the chairpersons-in-office, so that it can be exported easily to Orders.

What occurs too often, is that the president of the bar of Paris and the president of the Conference of the chairpersons, because they became vice-presidents of law, come and say to NBC, “this is what we have developed in our home and we want the national Council of the bars adopt”.

This inversion of the system calls into question the vice-presidencies of law. Should we assume once and for all, the creation of a national Order which we entrust the management of the national Council of bars ? This is not my ambition and I believe that this is not like this that the role of the CNB must be designed. On the other hand, it is necessary to go to the end of the process.

A.-P. : the chair of The CNB should also be elected by universal suffrage of the lawyers ?

P. E. : I’m not opposed to it. It all depends on what is expected of the president of the national bar Council. If he wants it to be the responsible of the execution of the decisions of the CNB, there is no need to elect by universal suffrage. On the other hand, if one expects it to pilot the policy of the profession, then he must be elected by universal suffrage. We are not there.

Once again, allow the brothers to elect the members of the national bar Council, which mission is to determine the policy of the profession is a major step, complementary to the universal suffrage that elects the members of the Boards of the College and the chairpersons.

It is coherent and rather simple to implement. It is a question of will. Of course, I have not forgotten, nor the unions or associations who need to make their contribution to the political body that is the NBC, because the representation of the profession is not reducible to the ordinalité. The debate on structural reform and political representation of the profession is open for a long time. We don’t get to make it succeed for the moment because that, specifically, at 25 years of age, it is not yet fully adult.

A. P. : Is your eyes, it is thus necessary to evolve the system ?

P. E. : It is necessary to evolve the current system because it is blocking. When each of the actors of the profession believes that he can go to express to the government their own vision of professional practice, we give the vision of a profession that is disorderly, messy, small.

It is necessary to achieve this change in mindsets, sociology. This will not happen overnight. I believe very much in the careful and empiricism, that is why, under my presidency, the CNB organised a fortnight of meetings with lawyers.

Everywhere in France, we carried this message everywhere and this message was well received. Colleagues need to feel that there is an institution which directly represents to the public Authorities, without failure. The development is therefore under way, and it will be successful by my, or my successors, according to the time it will take.

A. P. : These subjects will be discussed at the convention ?

P. E. : They will necessarily be. When we talk about economy, and digital territories, we are quite on this topic. When I tell people about the evolution of the CNB, it is not free, but by demonstrating that, to date, our professional, innovative and close to digital streams, we should be able to leave to government the responsibility for the development of the judicial map.

The mesh of the territory with the courts must be considered in political terms. The professional practice of the lawyer is not dependent on the judicial map. The lawyers should be recognised, not as the local counterparts of the courts, but as those of all their customers.

The reflex of the client is no longer going to look for a lawyer near the court close to his place of residence, but to find a competent lawyer, where it is located, who will represent it in front of any jurisdiction whatsoever, where it is found. It is an evolution of the mentalities among us.

A.-P. : Yet, the lawyers were wind standing against the reformation led by Rachida Dati…

P. E. : This reform has not been successful because Rachida Dati has not responded to the question, in particular asked by the lawyers, “Tell us what you want to do and what is your conception of the presence of the jurisdictions in the country ?” This is not how she envisioned things.

She wished to rationalize in economic terms. It is a pity, of wanting to make savings without having a global conception of the judicial function and it is a failure. Let’s not forget that if the lawyers are chained to the gates of the Palace of justice, local political actors are also strongly opposed to this reform of the judicial map.

“The reflex of the client is no longer going to look for a lawyer near the court close”

Today, the ambition of public Authorities should be to determine what they are considering in terms of legal presence and regulation of the social relations and economic by the courts and by the law.

A reform conceived in this way can help to get out of this design only a video card that is no longer responding to the exercise possibilities that are those of the courts and of the partners of justice that we are. Today, I have to be able to be in connection with all administrative courts where they are.

Of course, the movement is not without risk. Many of our colleagues have an economic activity which is dependent on the presence of the courts. It is precisely the role of the national Council of the bar to be the partner of this vision much more comprehensive, and to say to all of the clients of lawyers“, look no further than the place of judicial review, what is important is to locate competent lawyer with whom you want to work”.

This implies we of the pedagogy internal, external, and big means of communication.

A. P. : It is still a step towards a national Order, especially after the disappearance of the postulation ?

P. E. : The postulation is not a way to organize the regulation of the financial year. It was designed as the need of the intervention of an interlocutor with the local jurisdiction. at the time, it was necessary to meet to exchange.

Today, with the cloud, we exchange by electronic means, without any obligation to meet. The presence of the Orders, and applicants no longer have the benefit of proximity. Today, we are not able to identify the added value provided to the customer by the presence of an applicant.

So we “suffered” with the extension of the postulation in the jurisdiction of the courts of appeal. The next step will be without doubt the extension of the postulation at the national level. So we have to find something else. At the same time, since it is necessary that the lawyer be able to exercise freely, it is in need of a local Order to defend it, to regulate its discipline, its training… We will always need Orders.

This is neither the national Council of the bar nor a possible national Order that will support this regulation. It is necessary to consider to the confreres the opportunity to regroup in places demographic and geographic that they will choose and who will not be necessarily dependent on the presence of a tribunal de grande instance, which is currently the case. I am happy to acknowledge that this is a revolution.

I am however convinced that it is the pattern that we must have in mind if we don’t want reforms that will come. It is necessary that we are able to anticipate. I hope we can be partners of the public Authorities in order to build together.

A. P. : What do you expect today of the public Authorities ?

P. E. : I would like the government to tell us what their real projects. Today, we’re a bit in uncertainty. Without doubt do they expect us to make contributions spontaneous, what we are working on, obviously. But we are almost certain that they have their own conception of the future of our profession.

What I don’t want is that we go back to the transgressions of the reform Dati. Create large poles court level of the appeal courts is a risk. These are not the larger structures that work best.

Interview by
Boris Stoykov and Jean-Paul Viart

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