Tue, May. 31, 2005

Legal Advice Secret

.   Legal advice shall remain secret, even if it relates to money laundering unless a lawyer is involved in money laundering or financing of terrorism. This is the gist of a stronger rule adopted by the European Parliament on May 26, 2005, (COM(2004)0448 - C6-0143/2004 - 2004/0137(COD)).

Prior rules and the EU Council position contain a softer standard for the confidentiality of legal services. The German Supreme Court ruled last year that the invasion of the attorney-client privilege could be unconstitutional in many instances, under the German implementation of the EU rules in §261 StGB. On May 16, 2005, German Attorney General Brigitte Zypries noted, however, that money laundering rules do not constitute a problem for most lawyers.

The Lichtenrader Notizen blog focuses on several EU parliamentary actions and also outlines differences between the EU Council and EU Parliament texts of the money-laundering measure.


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