Dear Colleagues, Dear Friends,

Tomorrow we will meet each other on the unique event – third Twinning of Lawyers, initiated three years ago by the European Association of Lawyers (AEA-EAL) together with Bar Associations and organizations of lawyers from Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Caucasus with the aim to develop knowledge, exchange of experience, but above all – to strengthen friendship and network between lawyers from so many jurisdictions.

The idea of the Twinning came to me after long-lasting cooperation of my home Gdańsk Bar of Attorneys-at-Law with lawyers from partnering cities: Erlangen in Germany, Bilbao in Spain, Rennes in France, Leuven in Belgium, Exeter in the United Kingdom and Verona in Italy. In the framework of the cooperation, every year one of the partnering cities organizes a conference with accompanying program. The main rule is that lawyers from the hosting city welcomes colleagues at their homes and take care of  guests during their visit in the given country.

Basing on these experience I have decided to promote this idea towards our members, colleagues and friends from Eastern countries believing that such form of cooperation is the best way to build mutual trust, professional connections, and personal friendship.

The first Twinning held in 2019 in Gdańsk was a huge success with lawyers from 12 countries staying in this beautiful city, participating in scientific and social activities. The second Twinning was planned in Odessa in September last year, but due to Covid-19 pandemic we were forced to change its formula into an online gathering. For the same reason, our forthcoming event has similar form on Zoom. I do hope that the fourth Twinning of Lawyers in 2022 will return as personal meeting of colleagues and friends.

The first part of the tomorrow’s conference will be devoted to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms and their role in enhancing access to justice by reducing workload of courts which is very important  for citizens as well as creates new opportunities for lawyers  and other professionals such as mediators’ practice.

The second part is our traditional get together, which is core of Twinning. I invite all of you to stay with us and to share information and experiences in less formal atmosphere.

See you tomorrow!

Maria Ślązak
AEA-EAL President

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