The UNBA appealed to the President and international partners concerning the events of 2 August

Advocacy 19:38 Tue 07.08.18 18 Reviews Print

The Ukrainian National Bar Association appealed to the President of Ukraine, the management of law enforcement agencies and the Parliament, international organizations and diplomatic missions about the drastic aggravation of the situation around the legal profession as an independent constitutional institution for the protection of Human Rights.

The appeal detailed the events of 2 August, when during a meeting of the Qualification and Disciplinary Commission of the Bar (QDCB) of the city of Kyiv there happened a violent seizure of the UNBA premises. Participants of this event were people's Deputy Evhen Deydey (faction "People's Front") and people's Deputy of several convocations of the Verkhovna Rada Stepan Khmara.

Using the legal status of people's deputies, they secured passage to the UNBA premises to dozens of representatives of right-wing organizations, aggressively minded activists of public organizations related to various parliamentary political forces. Together they organized group actions and took an active part in them, which led to gross violation of public order and significant disruption of work of the Disciplinary Chamber of the QDCB of the city of Kyiv.

As a result of pressure and intimidation of members of the QDCB of the city of Kyiv on 2 August 2018 the Disciplinary Chamber of the QDCB of the city of Kyiv was unable, within their legal authority, to make a decision in the disciplinary proceedings concerning advocate Andriy Mamalyga.

In addition, the members of the Commission, in the form of an ultimatum, were required to provide documents that had no relationship to the issues on the agenda, the members of the Commission were forced not to leave the meeting room and not to move freely within the UNBA premises.

In plain sight of law enforcement officers there were numerous violations of the Law of Ukraine “On the Bar and Practice of Law” and the Criminal Code.

This situation of impunity of violence against advocates already occurred earlier at the time of congresses of advocates of Ukraine in 2014-2015, the violent seizure of participants of the meeting of the Bar Council of Ukraine and facilities of the Ukrainian National Bar Association, as a result of which there was blocked the activity of the bar self-government bodies.

"In fact, the feeling of impunity of radical organizations and some political forces are now seeking to get all the tools for the destruction of the constitutional institute of protection. By destroying all the principles of legality, rule of law and equality of citizens in their rights, radicals, their instigators and patrons seek to physically remove the advocates from performing their professional duties. In fact, their destructive acts aim not only at advocates elected to the bar self-government bodies, and advocates in high-profile criminal cases, but at the basic principles of equality of citizens in their rights, including everyone's right to professional legal assistance. This right is guaranteed by the state and cannot be determined by the ideologies of radical organizations or political parties. It is dangerous if this trend will extend to other citizens' rights to a fair trial, the right to elect and be elected", the appeal says.

Andriy Mamalyga holds the position of representative of the Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Lyudmila Denisova, until recently being the Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the already mentioned faction “People's Front”. At the time, Mamalyga was also a candidate for the position of Ombudsman, who publicly supported the faction of the Radical Party, because he was the advocate of one of the members of the RPL Igor Mosiychuk. It is noteworthy, that Mamalyga was proposed as a candidate to the position of Ombudsman by a meeting of advocates, illegitimately proclaimed "Conference of Advocates of the city of Kyiv", and public organization "Ukrainian Union of Participants of Hostilities in the ATO Zone", he is founder himself thereof.

"In the current situation, when the office of the Ombudsman is formed of politically engaged individuals with understanding of human rights which is far from European standards, and ignores the appeals of UNBA concerning the attacks against individual advocates and the violent attack on the legal profession as a constitutional institution, it becomes apparent that the party principle is inappropriate in the formation of the office of the Commissioner for Human Rights and own determining of candidates to the position of Ombudsman", the appeal says.

The UNBA considers this situation as unacceptable and such that requires the attention of not only the leadership of the state, but the international democratic community, since it is the  case of targeted destruction of the basis of the rule of law.

It is dangerous to have the consequences of further impunity of such illegal actions, which will be deprivation of people's right to effective legal assistance and protection from criminal prosecution. Citizens of Ukraine will be defenseless in protecting their rights and legitimate interests.

The UNBA appeals to provide immediate and comprehensive assistance in restoration of advocates' rights and guarantees stipulated by the current legislation of Ukraine and international treaties, the restoration of constitutional human rights in Ukraine to legal assistance and protection.

The appeal of the UNBA dating 1 August 2018 to the leadership of the state and to the international community about the destruction of the bar

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