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Editorial 118

February 2019 marked the 40th anniversary of the founding of the RAV, the Republican Lawyers' Association. To celebrate this anniversary, we have not only organized a party and a small conference program, but also published an anthology.(1)
What we lacked in our festive gift, however, was a somewhat broader view of the work of the RAV and its befriended organizations at the European level. This RAV InfoBrief is therefore dedicated to this topic and published in German and English language to give our non-German-speaking colleagues the opportunity to participate in this inventory. We would like to thank all authors and Mina Zapatero for their work on this issue.
Some of us will still remember or be confronted with the critical question - what is meant by the word ›republican‹, i.e. ›republikanisch‹ in the name of the RAV? The question had to do on the one hand with the emergence of the nowadays meaningless extreme right-wing party ›The Republicans‹ in 1983, on the other hand with the fact that the history of RAV's naming was not known; in the 1980s, in any case, there was a lively debate about whether the RAV should rename itself because of right-wing extremists - it did not.
A similar question arose for an English-lan.guage edition of the RAV InfoBrief - what do we want to think about a ›Republican Lawyers Association‹, how should we explain the name to friends and interested persons in the English-speaking world? We have now decided that we want to speak of the RAV as a German lawyers' association that defends civil and human rights, fights for the freedom of advocacy and advocates a progressive development of the law, but also write ›Republican Lawyers Association‹. Ingo Müller wrote about the naming (also documented in this InfoBrief) on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the RAV:
»The Republican Lawyers Association, founded on 11 February 1979 in the Stadthalle Hannover, was deliberately intended to tie in with traditions of the Weimar Republic that had long been buried. It was not by chance that the name was copied from that of the Republican Association of Judges (1921-1933), and not only the name, but also the organization. When he began work in December 1921, its founding members included not only judges but also university lecturers such as Gustav Radbruch and Wolfgang Mittermaier, trade union lawyers such as Hugo Sinzheimer and lawyers such as Ludwig Bendix and Ernst Fraenkel. [...] Like the former Judges' Association, the new Bar Association was open to those who were not familiar with the profession, and its members were judges (about fifty percent), legal scholars and lawyers. The colleagues Holtfort, Hannover, Driest, Eschen, Groenewold, Husmann, Preuß, Wächtler and Schily formed the first executive committee. In a blazing appeal to the »dear comrades«, Werner Holtfort, Deputy Chairman of the Association of Social Democratic Lawyers, and Gerhard Schröder, Chairman of the Young Socialists (Jusos), called on the Social Democrats to join the association.
Schröder himself resigned shortly afterwards due to a lack of contribution payment. This did not harm the RAV, which later renamed itself into Republikanischer Anwältinnen- und Anwälteverein to highlight its gender sensitivity. Nor did it harm the RAV that it was called ›Holtfort-Verein‹ for some time because of the initially dominant position of its first chairman«.
In this context, we would like to recall our preamble to the RAV Statutes, to which we are still committed:
»The association is part of the tradition of the struggle for free advocacy and for a democratic right. Law is an instrument for establishing and securing domination. But it is also a weapon to defend oneself against domination. The aim of this association is to use and develop the right for the benefit of the weaker party or parties.
In the Federal Republic of Germany, there has been an expansion of state power while at the same time the weakening the rights of those affected to defend themselves increases, e.g. in criminal law, police law, public service law, assembly law, conscription law, the right to educate, the welfare of the mentally ill and the right to deprivation of liberty vis-à-vis the mentally ill and the right of foreigners. Particularly drastically the state intervenes through criminal law into the rights of citizens. Last year's amendments to the law pose a danger to everyone because such laws expand the state's sphere of influence.
More than ever it is therefore the task of the lawyer to defend the rights of those affected, to assert their interests against state measures and, in particular, to oppose the abuse of state power.
But not only state power, but also social and economic power are using the law. An important task of the lawyer here is also to represent the interests of the economically and socially, especially in the fields of labor law, tenancy law, family law, the law of general terms and conditions, etc.
Defending against claims to power is also to advocate for the right of the coming generations to find a livable existence in an undestroyed environment.
In order to be able to carry out such tasks, a free legal profession is required, which can exercise its profession free from any, in particular state, paternalism. The lawyer is a unilaterally bound representative of the interests of his or her clients and is exclusively responsible to them and to himself or herself.«
It is in this spirit that we wish you a stimulating read and would like to thank all authors once again.
The EDITORIAL BOARD. Volker Eick, Ursula Groos, Gabriele Heinecke, Ulrich von Klinggräff, Peer Stolle, Lukas Theune

(1) Volker Eick & Jörg Arnold (Hg.), 40 Jahre RAV. Im Kampf um die freie Advokatur und um ein demokratisches Recht.
Westfälisches Dampfboot: Münster 2019.