Barring Aliens From Taking the Bar: Discrimination in Europe's Legal Profession

29 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2018 Last revised: 3 Sep 2019

Date Written: March 15, 2019


This article discusses discrimination against foreigners in the legal profession using Kosovo as a case study. Foreign nationals cannot take the bar exam in Kosovo or register as new lawyers. Citizenship is required by law, as in many European countries. But the requirement is unconstitutional, for it denies equality before the law and the right to work. In Kosovo, it also targets already vulnerable communities and worsens emigration trends. Reviewing Kosovar, European, and foreign jurisprudence, I argue that the citizens-only proviso fails to meet any criteria warranting discrimination. Therefore, Kosovo should act quickly to remove the citizenship requirement, while also considering related issues that impact freedom of movement and hinder development.

Keywords: Constitutional Law, Comparative Law, Bar Exam, Admission to the Practice of Law, Legal Profession, Foreign Lawyers, Aliens, Citizenship, Discrimination, Human Rights, Equality, Equal Protection Clause, Right to Work, United States, Europe, European Union, Kosovo, ECHR, ECtHR

Suggested Citation

Mjeku, Getoar, Barring Aliens From Taking the Bar: Discrimination in Europe's Legal Profession (March 15, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Getoar Mjeku (Contact Author)

Dr. Mjeku Law Office ( email )

Rr. Enver Maloku nr. 15
Prishtina, 10000


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics