A non-profit making organisation, the CCBE represents European bars and law societies in their common dealings before European and other international institutions.
A particular feature of the CCBE's work is its focus on European cross-border matters as they affect lawyers. The CCBE was closely consulted by the European Commission in relation to the promulgation of a series of European directives, which regulate the way that lawyers can practise in other Member States, either by way of temporary services, establishment or re-qualification.
Among the most important of the CCBE's missions are the defence of the rule of law, human rights and democratic values. Of special concern are the rights of access to justice, and the protection of the client by ensuring respect for the core values of the profession.
There are many other issues which affect lawyers at the European level: the impact of competition law on the profession's core values; the relationship between the duties of lawyers (and through them, the rights of citizens) and the duties of governments to provide security for citizens; the impact of globalisation and market liberalisation on the legal profession. All these matters form part of the central, day-to-day work of the CCBE.
The CCBE also represents its members in their dealings with other lawyers' organisations around the world on issues of common interest to the legal profession, such as the fight against terrorism and other serious crime, and the ability of lawyers globally to practise their profession freely without harassment or hindrance.