The bill on the right of attorneys to carry traumatic weapons was recommended by the Verkhovna Rada`s Committee to be adopted as a basis.
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The Ukrainian National Bar Association (hereinafter – the UNBA) generally welcomes the Bill № 4612 “On Amendments to Article 23 of the Law of Ukraine “On the Bar and Legal Practice” on Guarantees of Advocacy” and supports its adoption as a basis in the first reading.
It was announced by the Secretary of the Bar Council of Ukraine (hereinafter – the BCU) Ihor Kolesnikov at a sitting of the Verkhovna Rada`s Committee on Legal Policy.
The bill provides for the right of attorneys to purchase, store, carry and use means of active defense of national production to shoot ammunition equipped with rubber or similar metal shells of non-lethal action, i.e., traumatic weapons.
The document has already received a positive opinion of the Budget Committee of the Verkhovna Rada, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Justice, the Institute of Legislation of the Verkhovna Rada and the UNBA.
The relevant committee of the Verkhovna Rada recommends adopting the bill in the first reading as a basis.
"The UNBA supports the bill № 4612, but asks to provide an opportunity to work together on the issue of finalizing the provisions of this bill, so that we get a really good product - not just the law, but a working rule that will not lead attorneys to use traumatic weapons, but to creation of culture of handling weapons in society and the impossibility of identifying attorneys with their clients, " - Igor Kolesnikov stressed.
According to Igor Kolesnikov, during the finalization of the document, it should be clarified the procedure for terminating the right to carry traumatic weapons for attorneys who are subject to disciplinary action, as well as provide for the possibility of extending such a right to traumatic weapons of foreign origin.
The UNBA considers the identification of attorneys with clients to be the main reason for committing illegal actions against attorneys and proposes to establish responsibility for this at the legislative level.
"There is no doubt that the assassinations, murders, and injuries that are caused to attorneys take place because of their professional activities. In most cases, it was the identification of attorneys with clients that provoked certain individuals to commit illegal acts. Therefore, the issue of the culture of handling weapons and the legislative regulation of the introduction of liability for the identification of attorneys with clients should be thoroughly discussed, including in this bill, " - said Igor Kolesnikov.
During 2013-2020, the UNBA received 10 notifications about murders of attorneys, 9 - about assassination attempts, 57 - about physical violence against attorneys, 59 - about threats to attorneys. The UNBA believes that 85% of violations of professional rights and guarantees of advocacy occurred due to the performance of professional duties by attorneys.
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