On the Occasion of the Slovenian Lawyers’ Day
Ljubljana, 06/08/2007 | speech
The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Janez Drnovšek, addressed the audience at the 21st Slovenian Lawyers' Day in Terme Zreče:
"Ladies and Gentlemen, let me say some words of greeting on the occasion of your Lawyers' Day. The legal profession has a rich tradition in Slovenia. To my knowledge, your professional association is one of the oldest: it was established in 1868 and has thus a longstanding tradition, with plenty of experience gained during various periods, political systems and testing circumstances. The lawyer’s profession, too, has been subject to various ordeals, forced to seek out the best paths and to secure and maintain its position within society and the state. At all times, it was important for the legal profession to secure its independence, since the independence of lawyers and attorneys is one of the fundamental categories of human rights in the broader sense. Each individual must be granted the right and opportunity of access to independent, professional and high-quality defence in legal proceedings. The position of the legal profession may therefore be used as an indicator of the state of human rights protection in individual countries. Your endeavours to preserve your independence in the future, too, are more than legitimate. They are, moreover, urgently needed, indispensable. Even in the socialist period in the former Yugoslavia, the legal profession had a relatively good position in this country, a relatively high level of independence, and we can justifiably expect that it will at least preserve such independence in the present times. Therefore, your discussion of this issue is more than justified. We should improve the efficiency of the judicial system, that is a fact. However, not by reducing the possibility or the right to defence of every individual involved in judicial proceedings. This right should remain real and intact.
As the President of Slovenia, I naturally
advocate the independence of various national institutions, including that of the legal profession. This would be my principal message to you on today's occasion. I wish you continued success in your work in the future and the continued independence of your position, which should in no way be impaired by the new legislation. Moreover, I wish for your work to be based not only on appropriate legislation, but also on moral values that should be present especially in the pursuit of all activities by people throughout the world. Of course, I would wish for this to be present as far as possible in our country, Slovenia. I wish you every success in your conference today. Thank you.”