Lidiya Izovitova took part in an online meeting of the CCBE Standing Committee in Brussels

Advocacy 19:46 Mon 11.04.22 348 Reviews Print

UNBA President Lidiya Izovitova took part in an online meeting of the CCBE Standing Committee in Brussels. The event was joined by European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders.

The speech of the UNBA/BCU President was devoted to the situation in Ukraine and the peculiarities of the bar operating under martial law.

Internal consolidation, reliable support from advocates' self-government, which we try to provide to every advocate, as well as maintaining public trust in the Bar are extremely important for the Ukrainian legal profession at this time. The issue of human rights is currently one of the most pressing issues on the agenda for our entire country, for thousands of our citizens. The role of advocates in ensuring the entirety of human rights, the role in protecting human rights cannot be exaggerated," said Lydia Izovitova.

"It is a great responsibility for our entire community to ensure that the parameters of the rule of law in our country do not deteriorate," said the UNBA President.

Currently, the justice system in Ukraine operates under wartime rules.

"We are entrusted with the constitutional function of protecting the rights of citizens, and the right to protection, according to the Constitution of Ukraine, is not subject to restrictions even during martial law. We understand this responsibility to all citizens of Ukraine, and we understand the responsibility to the entire professional community of advocates, "said Lidiya Izovitova. At the same time, advocates do not refuse to provide free legal aid via Free Legal Aid system, in which the payment of fees began to be delayed due to the status of unprotected budget expenditures.

The UNBA President stressed that the self-governing organization of the bar should work continuously and effectively during martial law.

"The great resources of our organization - financial, organizational, human, logistical - are now used to help citizens, lawyers and their families. For the sake of transparency of this process, we have created the UNBA Board of Trustees of, which collectively decides on the provision of charitable assistance from the account of the UNBA Charitable Foundation. At this time, we feel the great support of our international partners. We are extremely grateful to all those who supported Ukrainian advocates during this difficult time, "said the UNBA/BCU President to representatives of European lawyers and leaders of the CCBE.

UNBA offices representative offices abroad are involved in providing assistance to all victims of hostilities, providing legal assistance to Ukrainians who are now forced to leave Ukraine free of charge.

Together with the Chairs of the Bar Councils of the regions, UNBA supports the western region's aid chain for advocates and their families traveling from areas under the Russian invasion. Bar Councils of the regions provide free legal aid to displaced persons, the military and volunteers, working pro bono on a round-the-clock basis.

"We are making every effort to ensure that the activities of self-governing bodies of advocates, as well as the Ba, continue in such difficult conditions. We must preserve the profession, its mission, and ensure the right to the legal profession for those who have just begun this path to the legal profession, "said Lidiya Izovitova.

During the meeting of the CCBE in Brussels, the UNBA/BCU Vice-President Valentyn Gvozdiy thanked foreign lawyers and international professional organizations for their support of the Ukrainian Bar. In particular, he reported on the activities of advocacy self-government bodies at all levels to assist internally displaced persons, refugees, as well as fundraising and humanitarian work of UNBA offices abroad.

"We are open to cooperation with European institutions and even I am personally ready to be a contact person in this process," said Valentin Gvozdiy.

Valentyn Gvozdiy also joined the discussion on the preparations for the meeting of the Council of Europe Expert Group on the Protection of Lawyers' Rights in early April in Strasbourg.

CCBE is a professional organization representing more than one million lawyers from the Member States of the Council of Europe and the EU. UNBA has observer status in this organization.

 

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