Defense Lawyer Day in Azerbaijan Date in the current year: December 28, 2024

Defense Lawyer Day in Azerbaijan Surprisingly, Azerbaijani defense layers didn’t have their own professional holiday until recently. President of Azerbaijani Ilham Aliyev established Defense Lawyer Day (also translated as Advocate Day) in 2019 as part of the celebration of the centenary of the Azerbaijani bar system. The holiday is celebrated annually on December 28.

The history of the modern legal system of Azerbaijan dates back to the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, an independent democratic republic that existed from May 1918 to April 1920. The Bar Association of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was founded in July 1918. Its members were directly involved in the development of the judicial system of the newly independent republic.

Unfortunately, the development of the independent bar system in Azerbaijan was halted almost as soon as it started due to the fall of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic and the establishment of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. The institution of private law practice was abolished throughout the Soviet Union in the 1930s. Only members of the bar association subordinate to the People’s Commissariat of Justice or lawyers who received special permission from the People’s Commissariat of Justice were allowed to practice law.

The Law on the Bar of the USSR, adopted in 1979, served as the basis for the establishment of state bar associations in each of the Soviet republics, including the Azerbaijan SSR. Each region of Azerbaijan has its own bar association. All defense layers were required to join a bar association and could work only in state legal offices where the population sought legal assistance. The cost of their services was their affordable, and some kinds of legal assistance were provided pro bono (subsidized by the state). For example, it didn’t cost anything to solve a labor dispute or seek child or spousal support.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the former Soviet republics began to restore the institution of private law practice. However, it took quite a lot of time for most of them to create a legal framework for the transition from state legal offices to law firms and private practices.

In Azerbaijan, for example, a law that officially permitted private law practice was adopted on December 28, 1999. Its anniversary is now celebrated as Defense Lawyer Day. Azerbaijan’s first independent Bar Association was created on November 3, 2004. The top priority of the development of the institution of private law practice in Azerbaijan is to increase the availability and affordability of legal assistance by developing a network of law firms and reimbursing lawyers who provide services to low-income citizens.

To highlight the importance of independent law practice in the legal system of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev officially established Defense Lawyer Day in 2019, a hundred years after the founding of the first bar association in independent democratic Azerbaijan. The holiday is marked by official ceremonies and various professional events. A lot of law firms provide free legal assistance to those who cannot afford it on the occasion of their professional holiday.

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Defense Lawyer Day in Azerbaijan, holidays in Azerbaijan, professional holidays, Bar Association of Azerbaijan