The stability of legislation allowed to create an effective bar - Lidiya Izovitova
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The Law “On the Bar and Practice of Law” in 2012 changed the old concept; that is, the powers are no longer delegated by the State to the Bar, instead the Bar derives its powers directly from the Constitution and the Law. This is a fundamental difference from the previous stage the legal profession development, which ended in 2012.
This was stated by the President of UNBA, BCU Lidiya Izovitova during the conference "EU and Eastern Partnership", which took place in the Hague on November 23. Lidiya Izovitova's report opened the discussion panel "The EU and the rule of law in the Eastern Neighborhood countries: the example of Ukraine." The event was attended by UNBA Vice-President Valentyn Gvozdiy, as well as Chair of UNBA International Relations Committee Ivan Grechkivsky, European experts on judicial reform, and diplomats.
She stressed that the relevant law establishes uniform rules for advocates. These are access to the legal profession, disciplinary liability of advocates, maintaining the Unified Register of Advocates of Ukraine and more. In addition to the relevant law, the rules for the bar are set by the advocates themselves. These are rules of professional conduct, qualification requirements, and clarification of the law.
"The new system of representation and management stipulates that only advocates take therein. Advocates themselves establish the rules of functioning of the Bar as institution and at the same time have guarantees and protection from interference from state bodies, ”Lidiya Izovitova emphasized.
The President of UNBA, BCU added that the practical implementation of the PACE recommendation was entirely on the shoulders of the advocates themselves. The system was created from scratch, fulfilling not only the requirements of the law, but also Ukraine’s international obligations.
"We made every effort to develop it, because we understood that the self-government of the profession, introduced on the basis of best European practices, guarantees advocates independence and a high level of professional standards," said Lidiya Izovitova.
Advocacy self-government is currently developed as a balanced and effective system on a national scale, where strong regional bodies are balanced by the leadership role of the national bodies of the bar. The democracy of the system testifies to the elected nature of all bodies of advocacy self-government, the limitation of terms of office.
The exclusive audience rights of advocates in courts gives the Ukrainian bar a status in the justice system of Ukraine on par with that of Bars in the European countries. At the same time, Ukraine is ahead of many Eastern European and CIS countries with this reform.
"The innovation for the bar was introduced by constitutional changes primarily in the interests of effective protection of citizens' rights. Although now there are attempts to go back on this issue, "- said the President of UNBA, BCU.
Lidiya Izovitova stressed that the bar is currently the most stable institution in the justice system in Ukraine. For 9 years, advocates have been working on the basis of the same version of the relevant law. The stability of law allowed to achieve the strategic goals set out in the law:
- develop a self-governing independent from the state professional organization of the bar with a single mandatory membership;
- guarantee the unimpeded practice of advocacy on the principles of the rule of law, legality, independence, confidentiality and avoidance of conflicts of interest;
- establish a list of professional rights of advocates and guarantees of advocacy, which allow defenders to work safely, professionally and efficiently.
"The fact that this law has not undergone fundamental changes since 2012, although a few years ago there was a serious risk of getting a politically motivated newedition thereof, proves an important rule: the stability of legislation remains the decisive factor in building effective institutions," said Lidiya Izovitova.
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