Minsk Legal Forum – current challenges and reforms of legal profession
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On 22 October 2015 the Minsk Legal Forum was launched in Minsk (Belarus). Its first day was devoted to a meeting with students of the Law faculty of the Belarus State University.
Speakers from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and other countries told the students about the role of the legal professional community in the development of legal education and the practical aspects of their activities.
The Ukrainian National Bar Association was represented by Mr Oleksandr Drozdov, Chairman of the Higher Qualification and Disciplinary Commission of the Bar, who spoke during the meeting about the role and importance of the bar for the formation of civil society in Ukraine, the procedure for becoming an attorney, guarantees of practice of law in the context of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, interaction of the bar self-government bodies and unions of attorneys with the leading law universities of Ukraine. There was a lively discussion on this subject between speakers and students.
Ukraine was also represented at this international event by Mrs Iryna Nikitina, consultant on strategy and development, Mr Oleg Makarov, partner at the law firm "Vasyl Kisil and Partners" and Mr Nazar Chernyavskyy, partner at the law firm "Sayenko Kharenko".
On the next day, 23 October, at the beginning of the Minsk Legal Form the participants were welcomed by the opening remarks of Mr Valeriy Mitskevich, Deputy Head of Presidential Administration of Belarus, and Mr Sergey Zadyran, Deputy Minister of Justice.
In the course of the work of the Form, representatives of the leading law firms and attorneys’ formations from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan made presentations and discussed the results of reforms and the ways of improving the legal profession on the example of several European countries.
In his report, which was accompanied by the visual presentation, Mr Oleksandr Drozdov informed foreign colleagues about the structure of the bar self-government bodies in Ukraine, procedure of their formation and their powers; with particularities of continuous training of attorneys; he briefly discussed the main aspects of future changes to the Constitution of Ukraine in the part related to practice of law and the Law of Ukraine "On the Bar and Practice of Law".
A separate part of the presentation made by Oleksandr Drozdov was about the positive impact of the practice of the European Court of Human Rights, both on the strengthening of the guarantees of practice of law and on the application by attorneys of the Strasbourg court’s jurisprudence in the domestic courts.
On the whole, the event became a platform for sharing experiences on current challenges facing today the legal business, as well as on new opportunities for the development in the present-day conditions.
It should be noted that the Minsk forum was held in a warm, friendly atmosphere which encouraged participants of the event to a constructive and fruitful dialogue.
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