UNBA calls to provide for booking of lawyers in the law
The procedure for reservation of persons liable for military service, as defined by Article 25 of the Law «On mobilization training and mobilization», should provide for the reservation of lawyers as persons who are part of the organization of the justice system.
With such an initiative, Lidiya Izovitova, the President of UNBA, BCU once again addressed the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal, as well as Ruslan Stefanchuk, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Oleksandr Zavitnevych, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence and Volodymyr Vatras, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Organization and Activities of the Bar, Legal Aid Bodies of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Legal Policy.
This time, the proposal and its justification were prepared by the NAAU and submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers and the Verkhovna Rada in connection with the registration in the Parliament of the governmental draft Law No. 10449 dated 30.01.2024 «On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Certain Issues of Military Service, Mobilization and Military Registration».
The document, in particular, provides for amendments to Article 25 of the Law «On Mobilization Training and Mobilization», according to which persons liable for military service who work or serve in courts, other state bodies and institutions of the justice system and pre-trial investigation bodies will be subject to reservation. It is proposed to establish that the procedure and organization of reservations, criteria, list of positions and professions, as well as the volume of reservations for persons liable for military service will be determined by the Cabinet of Ministers.
The UNBA believes that the list of persons liable for military service who are subject to reservation should be supplemented by lawyers of Ukraine.
After all, the Constitution of Ukraine establishes the right of everyone to professional legal assistance. In cases provided for by law, this assistance is provided free of charge. To provide professional legal aid in Ukraine, the Bar operates, and its independence is guaranteed. Only an advocate can represent another person in court, as well as defend against criminal charges. The principles of organization and operation of the Bar and the practice of law in Ukraine are determined by law (Articles 59, 131-2 of the Constitution).
The Ukrainian Bar consists of all advocates of Ukraine who are entitled to practice law. The Practice of Law is not a commercial activity. All lawyers of Ukraine are united in the Ukrainian National Bar Association, a non-governmental non-profit professional organization.
Thus, on the one hand, the draft law proposes to reserve judges, prosecutors, employees of pre-trial investigation and law enforcement agencies, persons working in courts, other state bodies and institutions of the justice system, and on the other hand, lawyers who are also part of the justice system (constitutional provisions on the bar are found in Chapter VIII «Justice» of the Basic Law) are not subject to reservation.
It should be borne in mind that the activities of the Bar under martial law are of utmost importance. Firstly, the Ukrainian Bar performs the functions of ensuring vital national interests, which are defined in Articles 55 and 59 of the Constitution.
Second, the failure to include the Bar in the system of judicial bodies and institutions causes significant damage to the social sphere, as it leads to the destruction of the social protection system in terms of providing legal aid to vulnerable groups of the population and other citizens, including military personnel.
Thirdly, the lack of reservation of lawyers will have a negative impact on all sectors of life support, especially on the activities of the justice system and law enforcement agencies, as it makes it impossible for the state to fulfill its functions and eliminates the rule of law and legality.
Fourthly, the narrowing or violation of the rights and guarantees of the practice of law through the mass mobilization of lawyers will cause significant damage to the normal living conditions of citizens who will not be able to exercise the right to defense, equality and competition, and the right to a fair trial. This is unacceptable in a state governed by the rule of law and in the European Union.
Taking into account the above, the UNBA proposes to supplement the draft law No. 10449 with a provision on the reservation of advocates as persons who are members of institutions and organizations of the justice system and to provide for such a category of specially authorized persons in the development and approval of the Procedure and organization of reservation, criteria, list of positions and professions, as well as the scope of reservation of persons liable for military service, which will be determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
The issue of booking attorneys is planned to be discussed at the next meeting of the Bar Council of Ukraine.
Earlier, the Ukrainian National Bar Association has already appealed to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine regarding the reservation of advocates who are liable for military service, pursuant to the decision of the UNBA dated 07.03.2023 No. 15.
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