Substitution of disciplinary bodies of the bar by the court destroys human rights protection, - Lidiya Izovitova
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An active lawyer is almost always an irritant to the court. And attempts to interpret human rights protection activities as an abuse of procedural rights (as some parliamentarians propose today) are the destruction of the idea of fair trial.
This opinion was expressed by Lidiya Izovitova, President of the UNBA, in her welcoming speech at the XIII International Scientific and Practical Conference «Advocacy: Past, Present and Future», which is taking place today, November 10, at the National University «Odesa Law Academy».
L. Izovitova cited certain provisions of draft law No. 5661 and some other legislative initiatives, which propose to bring lawyers to justice for the so-called abuse of procedural rights in order to speed up the consideration of cases by the courts. This means fining the advocates directly by the judges or stating the fact of abuse (instead of establishing the signs of misconduct) and passing the relevant decision to the disciplinary bodies of the bar for execution.
Such drafts actually give the courts additional powers to influence lawyers, which distorts the existing model of an independent bar, and disciplinary procedures against lawyers are replaced by direct judicial intervention, said President of the UNBA.
«So, at the legislative level, we are monitoring attempts to replace the independent disciplinary bodies of the Bar with the court. At the same time, in a position of interest to the court», - she noted. – «Lawyers are encouraged to remain silent and inactive in court. In fact, these are efforts to destroy the human rights function of the bar».
That is why the Ukrainian National Bar Association constantly monitors the existing problems of the legal profession, analyzes them and develops effective ways to overcome them. The President of Ukraine, the leadership of the Verkhovna Rada and its specialized committees, as well as the international community are informed about initiatives that threaten the principles of the practice of law. The reasoned position of the Bar is systematically communicated to the public through the legal media.
In those issues where broad support is needed, the bar community is involved. President of the UNBA said that a public discussion of the problem of efficiency and accessibility of justice had recently been initiated. «It really exists and requires an in-depth study», noted Ms. Izovitova. – «To find out its roots, the UNBA invited all practicing attorneys to tell about their own experience in courts».
During her speech, President of the UNBA also focused on other challenges faced by the institution of the bar during martial law. «Unfortunately, new times cannot be called favorable for lawyers and the Bar. Excessive radicalization of society caused by the troubles of war creates an increased demand among Ukrainians for punishment of enemies, war criminals and their accomplices. Therefore, the competitiveness of the parties in court and the provision of quality defense for suspects and accused are sometimes perceived (and this is used) as obstacles to justice and the restoration of the desired justice», explained Ms. Izovitova. She also criticized the attempts to criminalize the advocacy of defending Ukrainian citizens in the temporarily occupied territories.
These and other aspects of the legal profession are constantly discussed at every meeting of the Bar Council of Ukraine. Over the decades of its work, this bar self-government body has already developed effective mechanisms for solving current problems and is ready for new challenges, assured President of the UNBA.
She thanked the organizers of the conference for their loyalty to the established traditions, openness to all points of view and constructive approach to the consideration of complex theoretical and practical issues, wished the participants self-confidence and creative inspiration, and expressed hope that today will bring Ukraine the quality solutions necessary for its development as a state governed by the rule of law.
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