In Moldova lawyers discussed the risks of the profession

14:28 Tue 12.09.23 257 Reviews

Recently the International Conference of the Union of Advocates of the Republic of Moldova was held in Chisinau, during which participants from different countries discussed current issues of the Bar.

The event was attended by representatives of the Ukrainian National Bar Association.

In her speech, Lidiya Izovitova, the president of UNBA, in particular, drew attention to the fact that in Ukraine, during the martial law, the problem of violation of the rights of advocates and guarantees of the practice of law has become particularly acute: disregard for the principle of confidentiality, identification of an advocate with a client, lack of respect for the attorney-client privilege, and encroachment on life and health. In times of war, society does not always share the protective mission of lawyers, so the profession becomes risky. Nevertheless, the Bar steadfastly upholds the constitutional principle of the rule of law and hopes that society will eventually come to understand its value. In such a critical situation, the support of colleagues and international partners is of particular importance.

One of the conference sessions was devoted to the issue of risks to the legal profession. Highlighting the problem of the identification of lawyers with clients in Ukraine, member of the Bar Council of Ukraine from Rivne region Hanna Lazarchuk spoke about the peculiarities of defending persons suspected of war crimes and collaboration.

«There is an opinion in society that if you defend a traitor, you are a traitor yourself. That is why some colleagues refuse to defend clients, fearing for their lives and the lives of their loved ones», she explained. «There are frequent cases of serving summonses to lawyers right during investigative actions or court hearings, in order to eliminate a lawyer who is inconvenient for the investigation, too active. The UNBA considered more than ten appeals from colleagues on this topic. But these are only those who, despite the public pressure, were not afraid to speak out and ask for help. In fact, there are many more such cases», said Lazarchuk.

In addition to the problems of the Institute's activity, the attorneys in Chisinau also paid attention to the aspects of digitalisation of the judiciary. The UNBA representative in the Republic of Moldova, Yuriy Hryhorenko, shared with his colleagues the experience of digitalisation in the management of a professional organisation that unites all Ukrainian lawyers.

In particular, he told his colleagues about the Unified Register of Advocates of Ukraine, which over the ten years of its existence has become a multifunctional service for every advocate, his business card. An online platform of the Higher School of Advocacy was created for professional development. It brings together four in-service training providers that organise more than two thousand events annually.

Yuriy Hryhorenko also announced plans to create a system for paralegals, automate the procedure for acquiring the right to practice law, introduce new IT products to improve and simplify the operational functions of the UNBA office, its committees and regional bar councils, and synchronise the Electronic Court system with the URAU. «Today, working through the E-Court is perhaps the only opportunity for lawyers who left Ukraine because of the war to stay in the profession, provide legal aid and have a livelihood», said the UNBA representative in the Republic of Moldova.

The Ukrainian delegation also expressed its gratitude for the financial assistance received by the Ukrainian Bar and for the shelter of Ukrainians in Moldova. «I would like to ask you to support Ukrainian lawyers in Moldova who have lost their jobs», said Lidiya Izovitova. – «Some of them continue to perform their professional duties online (through our e-court system). Others could practice in your territory under Ukrainian law. The relevant recommendations were prepared by the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) in September last year».

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