News In Focus
Scot takes over as President of European Bars organisation
Scottish solicitor Ruthven Gemmell has taken up office as President of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), the organisation representing more than a million lawyers from 45 countries across Europe.
Mr Gemmell, a partner in Edinburgh firm Murray Beith Murray and a former President of the Law Society of Scotland, has served in successive vice presidential posts since 2014 and assumes the top position for the calendar year 2017.
He is the third Scottish lawyer, but the first solicitor, to hold the post. David Edward QC, from 1978-80, and Colin Tyre QC in 2007, have previously served as President. His presidency is supported by Antonín Mokrý (Czech Republic) as First Vice President, José de Freitas (Portugal) as Second Vice President, and Ranko Pelicarić (Croatia) as Third Vice President.
Founded in 1960, the CCBE is an international non-profit-making association incorporated in Belgium. It is recognised as the voice of the European legal profession by the EU institutions, and acts as the liaison between the EU and Europe's national bars and law societies. However its interests extend beyond the EU, especially in supporting lawyers in non-EU member states, some of which have less developed legal systems and/or fewer protections for the independence or personal safety of practising lawyers.
An interview with Mr Gemmell will be published in this month's Journal.