Adaptation of European standards opened the way for Ukrainian advocacy to integrate into the professional community of Europe - Lidiya Izovitova
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The establishment of UNBA embodied one of the conditions of the Association Agreement with the EU on the development of an independent professional self-governing organization of lawyers in Ukraine.
This was emphasized by UNBA, BCU President Lidiya Izovitova, opening the discussion panel of the conference "EU and Eastern Neighborhood", which took place in the Hague on November 23.
The event is organized by the LINKS Europe Foundation in cooperation with the Hague City Government and with the support of The Hague Humanity Hub. The event will be part of the "Conversations on the Future of Europe and the World" series and aims to be part of the discussion at the "Conference on the Future of Europe".
Lidiya Izovitova stressed that Ukraine is currently a party to the EU's Eastern Partnership foreign policy initiative, cooperating with the EU on the basis of the 2014 Association Agreement. This Agreement, in terms of its scope and thematic coverage, is the largest international legal document in the history of Ukraine and the largest international agreement with a third country ever concluded by the European Union. And its signing became possible thanks, including, and advocates.
"These are great milestones for our country's foreign policy, but their achievement took time and, most importantly, the persistent efforts of politicians, diplomats and advocates, including advocates, who paved the way for the independence of their professional community," Lidiya Izovitova said.
The President of UNBA, BCU reminded that the independent bar was built in the fight against the totalitarian regime, when Ukraine was still part of the USSR. The process of struggle began in the late 1980s, as a response to an attempt to break the oppression of the bar by the state.
Since 1991, the bar has gone through three conditional stages, and each new period is marked by changes in legislation and the Constitution. Fortunately, each new stage gave more independence to the legal profession, and brought us closer to European standards of the profession.
In 1992, the first post-Soviet law on the bar was passed, which shifted the bar from full state control to a period of quasi-self-government.
Only 20 years later, on July 5, 2012, the Parliament adopted the Law of Ukraine "On the Bar and Practice of Law", which for the first time created an independent professional organization of advocates – Ukrainian National Bar Association with a single membership and introduced a real self-governing model of Ukrainian advocacy.
"Ukraine's Bar is grateful to the PACE, which in its Resolution adopted in 1995 recommended that Ukraine establish an independent professional organization of lawyers, as one of the subsequent conditions for the future conclusion of the Association Agreement with the European Union. It took Ukraine 17 years to implement this PACE Resolution on the Bar, ”said Lidiya Izovitova.
The Law “On the Bar and Practice of Law” of 2012, implementing the recommendations of the PACE and the Venice Commission, took into account the best European practices of the organization of the bar, and European standards of self-government of the bar.
"This is a really great contribution to the development of Ukraine as a state governed by the rule of law. This is an important achievement, which turns the constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens into a real opportunity and provides a mechanism for their protection, first of all from the attack by the state, " emphasized UNBA, BCU President.
She noted that the adaptation of key European standards of legal independence and self-government to the national profile law opened the way for the Ukrainian legal profession to integrate into the European professional community.
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