Serhiy Vilkov: the idea of collecting e-declarations of the Higher Qualification and Disciplinary Commission of the Bar members is an attempt to nationalize the Bar

Advocacy 14:00 Thu 01.04.21 32 Reviews Print
The idea to submit e-declarations of the members of disciplinary chambers of the Higher Qualification and Disciplinary Commission of the Bar (hereinafter – Commission) is an attempt to nationalize the Bar.

This was stated by the Commission Chair Serhiy Vilkov at a meeting of the Bar Council of Ukraine on March 31, 2021, which took place online.

This position is contained in the e-mail of the NAPC Legal Department "On the performance of public law functions" regarding the range of subjects covered by the Law of Ukraine "On Prevention of Corruption" signed by the Head of this department Yaroslav Lyubchenko, sent on March 22, 2021, to the Commission and the Heads of the Commission in the regions.

Serhiy Vilkov suggests that such actions of the NAPC are aimed at sabotaging the bill, which is currently in Parliament, to eliminate legal uncertainty in the Law "On Prevention of Corruption". Namely, whether members of attorneys` self-government bodies fall under the scope of this law. By amending Article 45 of the Law on Prevention of Corruption, MPs want to put an end to this issue - attorneys should not file such declarations.

"In my opinion, the NAPC's actions are aimed at sowing chaos among attorneys. Feeling that this bill can be adopted from day to day, they make such an appropriate move - sent letters, and not only to the Commission but also to private performers and others. And the goal is that when attorneys start submitting these declarations, anyone in the Verkhovna Rada will say: "So the issue has already been settled and why should we adopt this law?" And they will put this law in a way for a long time", - Serhiy Vilkov said.

The head of the Commission is convinced that this step of the NAPC threatens the obligation to submit e-declarations not only to members of the disciplinary bodies of the bar but to all attorneys in general.

"I see this as pressure on the legal profession from certain people to further pressure through law enforcement and other authorities. If we look at it from the point of view of the logic set out by the NAPC in the letter, then the quality assessment commissions must submit electronic declarations, then - audit commissions, then – Free legal aid attorneys, and as a result - the Regional Bar Council. That is, all attorneys will file e-declarations. This is nothing more than a plan by certain NAPC individuals to nationalize the bar and displace bar self-government as an independent civil society institution. This cannot be allowed", - Serhiy Vilkov summed up.

We will remind, on March 31, Bar Council of Ukraine held an extraordinary meeting. The agenda included the issue of declaring by members of the bar self-government bodies, in particular, members of the Commission following the Law of Ukraine “On Prevention of Corruption”. BCU considered appeal of the Head of the Bar Council of the Kherson region Inna Mokina dated March 26, 2021, to provide clarifications on the submission of annual declarations by attorneys-members of the bar self-government; as well as appeal of the Head of the Disciplinary Chamber of Qualification and Disciplinary Commission of the Bar in Kharkiv, Lydia Melkonyan, dated March 26, 2021, regarding the declaration by members of the disciplinary chambers of the Commission of the region under the Law of Ukraine "On Prevention of Corruption".

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