Improved monitoring bolsters integrity of legal profession

In order to bolster the quality and independence of the monitoring of the legal profession, the government will replace the current system – in which the deans of the eleven local bar associations each monitor their own region – with a single nationwide regulatory body responsible for monitoring all lawyers. This will make the monitoring of the legal profession more independent, uniform and effective, Minister Dekker for Legal Protection writes to the Dutch House of Representatives.

Minister Dekker:

‘Anyone enlisting the services of a lawyer needs to be able to rely on the quality of those services. We need to be able to trust in the integrity and reliability of lawyers. To ensure that we can all continue to have trust in the legal profession, we are enhancing the monitoring of the profession.

Enhanced monitoring

By replacing the current system of regional monitoring by eleven local deans with a single nationwide regulatory body responsible for monitoring all lawyers, we will ensure a more independent, uniform and effective monitoring of the legal profession. This nationwide regulatory body will be authorised to appoint additional regulators. The deployment of extra people and expertise will improve monitoring of compliance with regulations. The regulatory body will also be authorised to impose fines and enforce disciplinary measures when lawyers fail to adhere to the regulations.

Fighting organised crime

The fight against organised crime is a top priority, in terms of both funding and new legislation and regulations. That fight must be waged within the bounds of the rule of law. In addition, the legal profession must be protected against subversion by criminals. We will also consider what this means for the development of the monitoring going forward. The government is going to discuss this with the Netherlands Bar Association (NOvA).