The Legal Development Network appeals to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to revise the bill “On Advocacy and Advocacy Practice”

On September 6, 2018, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko submitted a draft law No.9055 “On Advocacy and Advocacy Practice” to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine . The bill is identified as urgent one by the President of Ukraine.

The draft contains provisions aimed at improving the efficiency of justice provision. At the same time, it includes proposals which introduction may lead to negative consequences: the deterioration of the ability of lawyers to carry out professional activities, limiting the independence of the bar.

In particular, among the provisions of the draft law that can cause risks, there is a removal of the “conflict of interests” concept from the text of the relevant law, the introduction of liability of a lawyer for his/her abuse of the right to submit a request, etc.

The bill provides for the simplification of the procedure for notification of suspicion to persons with the status of a special subject. The consequence of this may be the intensification of the prosecution of lawyers for their legal position.

The provision on the prohibition of advocacy practice in the case of signing an employment contract (with the exception of scientific, teaching or creative activities) may result in negative results. This, among other things, makes it impossible for lawyers to cooperate with human rights organizations.

At the same time, according to the bill, advocacy practice can be combined with public service and service in local government. This may lead to non-compliance with the principle of independence of the advocacy.

In connection with said above, the Legal Development Network appeals to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine not to adopt the draft law No.9055 “On Advocacy and Advocacy Practice” in its present form, as the document needs to be seriously revised.

The Legal Development Network is ready to provide its expert assistance in improving the draft law.

 

Natalya Bimbirayte,

Head of the Board of the Legal Development Network

 

 

 

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