The Committee on Protection of Advocates’ Professional Rights has made a statement about the inaction of law enforcement agencies in defending the advocates' guarantees to practice law

Advocacy 11:48 Tue 14.08.18 108 Reviews Print

On 10 August, the Committee on Protection of Advocates’ Professional Rights and and Guarantees to Practice Law made a statement about of disengagement of the state and law enforcement agencies from combating violations of advocates' rights.

This was stated by the Chairman of the Committee Hanna Boriak during a press conference have a theme "Attack on the legal profession as the state policy aimed at violation of advocates' rights and guarantees to practice law”.

"Today we state the facts as to the following. The first fact is the absence in the state of the obligation to be responsible for the advocate's guarantees. The second fact that we note today, is the use of force as a convicting reason for the legal position of the prosecution. And the third fact is the intimidation of advocates and interference with advocates' activity, in particular, on the part of representatives of the Ministry of internal Affairs. Representatives of the Ministry of internal Affairs intervening in advocacy activities cover up for representatives of quasi public organizations in their attempts to break into the UNBA office, to threaten the advocates in social media, to use force towards advocates as the argument in favour of the need to get a lawyer to remain silent," said Hanna Boriak.

According to her, such cases occur with actual support of law enforcement agencies. The appeals regarding the investigation of violations of advocate's rights remain without an adequate response.

"In our state we have to come to the conclusion that an advocate must provide legal assistance to another advocate to protect colleagues against inaction of law enforcement bodies", said the Deputy Chairman of the Committee Igor Kolesnikov.

The bar community is outraged by the fact that during only two weeks at the end of July and beginning of August there were registered more than 10 violations of rights and guarantees to practice law.

"Today I receive threats at my address which I take with an uneasy heart. After all, mixing of our identity with that of a client is probably the most terrible situation. My corresponding appeal has been registered, information entered into the state register under article 399/1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, concerning the fact that I was beaten in the courtroom, on 7 July, in the Court of Appeal of the city of Kiev. These actions were reclassified by the investigation as the second part, because at the moment there is a medical examination conclusion that I suffered minor injuries according to the criterion of the duration of the health examination," said about his beating in the court of Appeal of the city of Kyiv the Deputy Chairman of the Committee on protection of human rights at UNBA, advocate Oleg Povalyaev.

According to the advocate Cateryna Karmazina, crimes against advocates are now ignored and are not given publicity.

"The whole country remained unaware of the beating of advocate Yuri Karmazin, and secondly in front of the whole country they showed that if you do not plead guilty in committing any crime, you will be transported to areas unknown for your relatives and your advocate  for torturing", she said.

On interference in the activities of the bar self-government bodies there spoke a member of the Qualification and Disciplinary Commission of the city of Kyiv Tetiana Gnatiuk.

"On 2 August during a meeting of the QDCB a large number of people including deputies and and so-called activists broke into the meeting hall. We had no opportunity to go to another room or to make a decision due to the fact that we were blocked and were not allowed to go out for about 4 hours. The most interesting is that police officers were present during these actions and saw everything with their very eyes, they heard our requests to stop these illegal actions, but they just ignored us. It all happened with the support of the people's deputies Deydey and Khmara. Thus, all this suggests that active interference with advocacy, with the work of the bar self-government bodies with the aim to "break down" the Ukrainian National Bar Association, to subdue and dictate the rules and make us obey these requirements," - said Tetiana Gnatiuk.

Now Ukrainian advocates are working on the creation of an international mechanism for their protection.

The Chairman of the Chairman of the Committee on Protection of Advocates’ Professional Rights and Guarantees to Practice Law under UNBA Hanna Boriak appealed to the Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov with a request to give a legal assessment of the events that happen with the attack on lawyers and interference with the activities of self-governing bodies by groups with unknown persons.

The video of the press conference of the Committee for the protection of advocates' rights and guarantees at UNBA as of the 10 Aug 2018

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