Rights for women, not yet achieved

By Camille FratiMisch Pautsch Switch to French for original article

Valérie Dupong took over the leadership of the Luxembourg Bar Association last September. She has been a lawyer for 34 years and is co-founder and partner of her firm. She is also the mother of four children. An exchange on women in the judiciary, whether they are lawyers, clients or victims, as International Women's Day shines a spotlight on the road ahead.

Lëtzebuerger Journal: Ms. Dupong, you have been the President of the Luxembourg Bar Association since last September. Have you settled in yet?

Valérie Dupong: Certainly. I had a very sporty start: preparation for the Gafi visit, a lot of bills to be advised, staff to be hired at the "Maison de l'avocat" … not to mention the Brexit, which still interests us a lot. I also met some of the judicial and political players such as the Minister of Justice, the President of the Superior Court of Justice, the State Attorney General and other members of the judicial authorities. I am about to see the representatives of the police. These are not courtesy visits but working visits.

I am in the process of setting up a service that we call "écoute@barreau" to support lawyers in difficulty. I have also created new commissions of the Bar: taxation, civil law, deontology and ethics of the profession, … The guardianship commission has been redesigned and the one on human rights is being created. In all, 150 volunteer lawyers are involved in these commissions.

With the help of the Young Bar Conference, we have organized specialization training for lawyers for children and agents for adults under guardianship. I participated with the other legal professions and the "École de Gestion et de Commerce" (ECG) in the organization of a BTS "legal assistant". The first students will be admitted to the ECG this fall.

Is there a Valérie Dupong imprint and what is it?

I think so. Everyone has their own way of doing things. I am a communicative and social person.  Together with the communication department of the "Maison de l'avocat" I want to increase our presence on social networks. We want to launch information campaigns about the profession and review our website. We already publish our opinions on various bills – there are more than a dozen since September. We are proud to be asked for our opinion because it contributes to the democratic debate and it is one of the missions entrusted to the Bar Council in law on the legal profession. We have specialized lawyers who work in the field in all areas, we must take advantage of their experience.

Advertising campaigns will be aimed at making our profession better known. Too many people have negative prejudices about lawyers, and many equate us with what is shown on American TV shows.

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