Yuri Guy Ron – Speech at Friday Israel – Germany delegation 11.7.2010

Dear friends and respected colleagues

First of all, I would like to thank our host, the IDJV organization headed by Dr. Himelman on the German side and Adv. Dan Assan on the Israeli side. I am honored to be here and speak in an event that has become a tradition and that has produced beautiful outcomes between Israeli and German lawyers

The relations between the German and the Israeli people have always had and always will have a special meaning. One can not take these warm and unique relationship between the German Federal Bar and the Israel Bar Association for granted. On the contrary, these relations created in modern times symbolize the attribute of the lesson taught in the past and the creation and desire of a better future. These relations are being maintained by all of us, jurists from Germany and Israel that spare no efforts to nourish these relationships between the two bars

I still haven't mentioned the magnificent and imperative "Lawyers without Rights" exhibition of the German bar, I didn't discuss the mutual delegations, joint ongoing visits and the warm personal relationships. There is no need to, we do it all year long and I am confident we will continue to do so

I believe that the international advocates' community has a major impact with respect to the regulation of the interpersonal interaction between the individual and the government, and I see the legal profession as one which imposes an inherent personal duty on each one of us. One should always remember that society was founded in order to serve its individuals and not the other way around. Human rights and the rule of law, law that protects human rights and does not infringe them in the name of the administration, is the core of every modern, democratic society

I believe that every Bar around the world has an important public role and it should not only function as a professional guild. Law is above all a social mission. Every lawyer has a public role, because there is an inseparable connection between being lawyers and professionals, members of professional companies, and our existence as human beings, as citizens and as activists in the community and social environment in which we live in

Our professionalism entails social responsibility, concern for others, concern for the principles of proper society and accessibility of a trial for everyone, especially if the other is weak or different. Through these social glasses we shall find ourselves eventually better lawyers and jurists, better people. I believe that as the public of lawyers will help increase access to trial for disadvantaged populations, and will reveal social care, the better it's the professional and public standing

As part of the Israel Bar's commitment to protect the weak, we have established the program "Schar Mitzvah" which is the social flagship project of the Israel Bar Association for seven years. It is clear to us, those who are standing at the top of the Bar, that legal assistance to the disadvantaged is located at the top social priority as inherent part of the values, on which Israel is founded in general, and to the "Schar Mitzva" program of the Israel Bar Association in particular

About 2,300 lawyers have joined to the "Schar Mitzva". Lawyers are providing legal assistance pro – bono in rights centers, located in distressed neighborhoods and welfare places and not in private offices. "Schar Mitzva" program operates 40 rights centers, which provide pro – bono counseling from qualified professionals. The centers rights are distributed throughout Israel. The Lawyers meet unprivileged people whose rights have been trampled frequently, and are not aware of their right to access justice
Within the program, the goal is to help as many different groups, whose rights are affected. Accordingly, there is an activity in the Bedouin sector, ongoing assistance to many new immigrants from the Soviet Union, in north of the country, the Arab sector is getting aid, and in the center of the state there is aid to the population of new immigrants from Ethiopia, the Orthodox population and mental-injured population

The Bar is working and will continue to expand its operations of the "Schar Mitzva" program to raise awareness of voluntary activity, both among lawyers and among lagging populations

At the same time, the Bar also strives to foster coexistence with the Arab population in Israel. There isn't a better example of this than the professional and social life in Haifa and Northern districts of the Bar

In these districts the lawyers, Arabs and Jews, work in a unique and remarkable harmony. In the last decade we cherish the coexistence of the Jews and the Arabs in our Bar association as an example and a model for Israeli society as a whole. The Arab-Jewish coexistence within the Bar is an example for the entire Israeli society

The coexistence between the peoples finds its uniqe expression, friendly and effectively everyday. The members of the Israeli Bar prove on a daily basis that it is possible. In addition, right at the beginning of the current term of my presidency, the late summer of 2007, a placement team for the public sector was established, which is designed to expand the non-legal jobs in the civil service for lawyers, and especially for our colleagues, our members of the Israeli Bar, who are Arabic lawyers

As of now, the Israel Bar has not less than 46,000 members in just a 7.5 million citizens and with the constant grow rate, I believe we will reach the German number of lawyers in less than 20 years without even getting close to the quantity of the German population. That means enormous social power. I believe that there is no man without a candle that can illuminate others and everyone needs to work and try to illuminate the candlelight in public

Thus, to all of you, I would like to wish that we will continue to act for the promotion of the profession, in the personal aspect, social and public alike

I am proud to say that next year; the Israel Bar will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary so I hope I will see all of you in the celebrations!

As long as the Israeli and the German Bars will stay close as Exel and I are, we have nothing to worry about
Thank you for inviting me and kineret to join you here in Hamburg, and thank you for your kindness I believe we will all stay very close to each other in the future

Thank you