How to ensure actual compliance with the deadlines for responding to a lawyer's request – draft

10:48 Fri 02.02.24 109 Reviews

By law, persons who have received a lawyer's request are obliged to provide the requested information no later than five business days from the date of receipt. In practice, the response to the attorney is dated within these time limits, but in reality it may be sent within weeks or even months.

The draft law No. 10445 dated 30.01.2024 «On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine «On the Bar and Practice of Law» regarding the Regulation of the Timeliness of Receiving a Response to a Lawyer's Request», the text of which appeared on the website of the Verkhovna Rada, is intended to solve this problem.

The author of the legislative initiative proposes to enshrine the need to notify the lawyer of the sending of a response to the lawyer's request.

To do this, the MP believes that part 2 of Article 24 of the Law on the Bar and Practice of Law should be amended to state that, at the request of an attorney, information and copies of documents requested by an attorney should be sent by electronic means with an electronic qualification signature.

As a reminder, an attorney's request is a written request by an attorney to a public authority, local government body, their officials and employees, enterprises, institutions and organizations regardless of their form of ownership and subordination, and public associations for information and copies of documents required by the attorney to provide legal assistance to a client.

The advocate's request shall be accompanied by copies of the certificate of the right to practice law, an order or instruction of the body (institution) authorized by law to provide legal aid. It is prohibited to require the advocate to submit other documents together with the request for legal aid.

The advocate's request may not concern the provision of consultations and explanations of the provisions of the law.

The state authority, local self-government body, their officials and officers, heads of enterprises, institutions, organizations, and public associations, to which the advocate's request was sent, shall, not later than five working days from the date of receipt of the request, provide the advocate with the relevant information, copies of documents, except for information with restricted access and copies of documents containing information with restricted access.

If the advocate's request relates to the provision of a significant amount of information or requires the search for information among a significant amount of data, the term for consideration of the advocate's request may be extended up to twenty business days with justification of the reasons for such extension, which shall be communicated to the advocate in writing not later than five business days from the date of receipt of the advocate's request.

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