The Directive allows any lawyer established in another Member State under his home-country professional title to obtain the professional title of the host Member State provided that he has effectively and regularly pursued for a period of at least three years an activity in the host Member State (Article 10 of Directive 98/5/EC).
The Directive was published in the Official Journal of the European Communities (OJEC) dated March 14th, 1998, L. 77, and is freely available on Europa web site.
The Directive allows any lawyer to practise on a permanent basis in any other Member State under his home-country professional title (Article 2 of Directive 98/5/EC) and without time restriction. The lawyer is then obliged to precisely indicate his home-country title "in an intelligible manner and in such a way as to avoid confusion with the professional title of the host Member State." (Article 4 of the Directive 98/5/EC).
A lawyer who establishes under his home-country professional title in a Member State other than that in which he obtained his professional qualification shall register with the competent authority in that State (Article 3 of Directive 98/5/EC).
The CCBE considers that "trainee lawyers" do not fall within the scope of the provisions of the Directive 98/5/EC inasmuch as it covers lawyer "who is fully qualified in a Member State" (Article 1.2. of the guidelines on the implementation of the Directive 98/5/EC).
The "Establishment" Committee of the CCBE considers that the provisions in the Directive regarding registration in particular are directly applicable. However, it must be reminded that the direct application of the Directive provisions is a matter of law which does not come under the authority of national jurisdictions, under the supervision of the CJEC.
According to the "Establishment" Committee of the CCBE, it can not be inferred from the Directive the establishment of a monopoly on consultation within the whole European Union. This question comes however under the authority of the competent national jurisdictions, under the supervision of the CJEC.
The CCBE has prepared a table on the stage of implementation within the different States. This table is updated on a regular basis.
The Member States were expected to implement the Directive before March 14th, 2000, at the latest.
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg instituted nullification appeal of the Directive. The proceedings was rejected by the Court of Justice of the European Communities. The Directive was therefore considered as valid by the decision made on November 7th, 2000 (C-168/98).