Bar Association (Germany)
The Bar Association is a local association of lawyers (compulsory) and legal advisers (optional, BRAO ). The district of a chamber corresponds to that of the respective higher regional court district , Section 60 (1) of the Federal Lawyers' Act (BRAO), or part of it, Section 61 BRAO. By law, admission to the bar leads to mandatory membership in a regional bar association.
A bar association is a corporation under public law . As part of the so-called "indirect state administration", it performs the state tasks assigned to it by law. Among other things, you are responsible for z. B. the admission to the bar, the monitoring of the compliance with the professional law by the professionals in the district and the mediation in disputes between lawyers and their clients. Details of their tasks and powers result from the BRAO.
The 28 bar associations are run by a paid board , which the members of a bar association elect from among their number. The voter turnout is regularly in the lower single-digit percentage range. The individual bar associations are amalgamated in the Federal Bar Association.
Associated with the bar associations are the so-called bar courts . These courts decide on misconduct of lawyers that is relevant to professional law. In addition to fines, lawyers can also be banned from practicing their profession.
The tasks of the bar associations are:
- Admission to the legal profession and all related issues as well as the revocation and withdrawal of admission;
- Monitoring of compliance with legal professional duties by the members of the Chamber (professional supervision);
- Permission to use specialist lawyer names;
- Advising chamber members on all questions of professional law;
- The mediation between chamber members as well as between them and clients;
- The provision of expert opinions in the cases provided for by law;
- The representation of the professional interests of the chamber members towards ministries, authorities and courts;
- The statement on federal and state draft bills;
- The right of nomination for judges of the legal jurisdiction as well as the judges' service court and the service court for judges;
- Participation in the training of students and trainee lawyers, including the right to nominate legal members to the legal examination boards;
- The registration and monitoring of the training relationships of legal clerks as well as the acceptance of the exams.
- as well as the activity as
- Administrative authority (fine authority) according to § 73b BRAO for administrative offenses according to § 6 Service Information Duties Ordinance (DL-InfoV), which are committed by chamber members;
- Administrative fines according to §10 OwiZuVo BW for administrative offenses according to § 102 BBiG that are committed by chamber members;
- Supervisory authority according to § 50 No. 3 Money LaunderingG and fine authority according to § 73b BRAO for administrative offenses according to § 56 Money LaunderingG that are committed by members of the Chamber;
- Point of single contact (EA) in accordance with Section 2 (1) EAG BW.
Already before the bar associations were established, there had been associations of lawyers. In Frankfurt am Main, for example, there was a collegium graduatorum from 1603, which was replaced by a college of lawyers in 1841. The first legal associations were established in the 19th century. In the Duchy of Brunswick was due to the local Trim lawyers of 19 March 1850, a Bar Association introduced. The nine members of the chamber were elected by the general assembly of all lawyers in the country. Also in the Kingdom of Hanover (with the law on the establishment of bar associations of November 8, 1850) a bar association was created at each higher court . This served for the first time as a disciplinary council, i.e. as a legal court. Other preliminary forms were the Lawyers 'Act for the Duchies of Coburg and Gotha from June 2, 1862 and the Lawyers' Regulations for the Grand Duchy of Baden from 1864 .
The introduction of the bar associations
This happened on the basis of long preparatory work and political discussions in parallel with several Imperial Justice Acts, which came into force on October 1, 1879. In addition to the Lawyers 'Act and the Lawyers' Fees Regulations , the Courts Constitution Act , the Civil Procedure Code , the Criminal Procedure Code and the Bankruptcy Code were part of this judicial reform.
This was followed by the formation of bar associations without a central umbrella organization in the German Reich. In 1908 the boards of directors of the Reich German bar associations came together.
time of the nationalsocialism
On March 18, 1933, a few weeks after Hitler came to power in the German Reich, the Reich Bar Association was established by decree of the Reich President as the umbrella organization of the Reich German Bar Associations. Its president from 1933 to 1945 was Justizrat Reinhard Neubert . On March 31 / April 1, 1933, the acting Minister of Justice, Kerrl, worked towards the “cleansing” of the chamber boards of Jewish members. This affected a large part of the legal profession, as Jews were clearly disproportionately represented in the legal profession. In 1933 three quarters of Berlin lawyers were Jews, in Frankfurt am Main it was 45%.
Through the Reichs-Rechtsanwaltsordnung (RAO) passed on December 13, 1935 (RGBl. I, 1470), the Reichs-Rechtsanwaltskammer (RRAK) became the only legally competent representation of all lawyers admitted to the courts of the German Reich in the sense of centralization and conformity. The local bar associations lost their independence. The previous chamber boards were now referred to as “chambers”. The chairmen were only organs of the RRAK bound by instructions; they were appointed by the Reich Minister of Justice with the participation of the Reichsführer of the BNSDJ (National Socialist Legal Guardian Association) .
This so-called Reichs-Rechtsanwaltsordnung 1936 , which came into force in 1936, ended the existence of the bar association as a legal entity. They continued to exist as dependent organs of the Reich Bar Association. The German lawyers were brought together in the Reich Bar Association. Its president was appointed by the Reich Minister of Justice and in turn appointed the local chamber presidents, over whom he had the right to give instructions. The “leader principle” was introduced.
post war period
In 1945 the Allied occupation authorities dissolved the bar associations.
SBZ / GDR
Individual chambers were formed in the Soviet Zone , but they had no effect. They were dissolved and replaced in the 1950s by lawyers' colleges that were formed for each district in the GDR . These were formally cooperatives of the lawyers, in fact the Ministry of Justice had strong rights to intervene in the work of the colleges. After the reunification , the German system of the bar association was also introduced in the new states.
Federal Republic of Germany
In 1949 the working group of the bar association boards in the new Federal Republic of Germany was founded. In 1959 the Federal Bar Association was founded. The Federal Bar Association was established according to § 233 BRAO a. F. Legal successor to the Reich Bar Association.
Ulrich Wessels has been President of the Federal Bar Association since September 2018.
- Gerhard Baatz: 125 years of history of German bar associations , BRAK-Mitteilungen 2008, pp. 190–195 with references in FN 1 for the bar associations Berlin, Braunschweig, Celle, Frankfurt am Main, Hamm, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Munich, Oldenburg / O., Zweibrücken, Saarland and Saxony.
- Robert Heinrich: 100 Years of the Munich Bar Association , Munich 1979, ISBN 3-406-07443-X .
- Rudolf Lauda: 130 years of duties of the bar associations , BRAK-Mitteilungen 2008, pp. 195–201
- Constantin Privat: changing lawyers. 125 years of the Cologne Bar Association 1879–2004 . Verlag Otto Schmidt, Cologne 2004, ISBN 3-504-06131-6 .
- Johann Günther Knopp: A contribution to the history of the Frankfurt Bar Association; in: 125 years: Frankfurt am Main Bar Association, pp. 15-17.
- Johann Günther Knopp: A contribution to the history of the Frankfurt Bar Association; in: 125 years: Frankfurt am Main Bar Association, p. 33.
- Christian Booß, In the golden cage: The political justice and the lawyers in the Arä Honecker, in: Germany Archive, December 18, 2017, [www.bpb.de/261887 online]
- Federal Bar Association ~ President. In: www.brak.de. Retrieved August 14, 2019 .