Violation of media guarantees of advocacy is being studied by the UNBA

Advocacy
18:48 Mon 04.03.24 148 Reviews
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An open appeal of the Ukrainian National Bar Association's Committee on Information Policy and Interaction with the Mass Media to the advocates.

By defending or representing clients in high-profile cases, Ukrainian attorneys-at-law attract additional media attention to their personalities.

At the same time, journalists, when covering the circumstances of such cases and the work of the attorney, unfortunately, do not always adhere to professional standards: balance of opinions, reliability, separation of facts from comments, accuracy and completeness. 

There are quite common cases when information about the activities of a defense counsel is presented in a biased manner, using false, unverified or inaccurate data, without clarifying the point of view of the lawyer mentioned in the material. Emotional coloring and distortion of the work of providing legal aid, which is provided for by the Constitution of Ukraine and the procedural codes, has become almost the norm today.

At the same time, the guarantees of the practice of law are directly violated. Due to the disregard for the presumption of innocence, when defendants are called criminals before the verdict and lawyers are called defenders of criminals, lawyers are actually identified with clients, which is expressly prohibited by the Law «On the Bar and Practice of Law».

As a result, the public has a negative attitude towards both a particular defense lawyer (which affects the person's business reputation) and the institution of the Bar as a whole.

The protection of advocates from external information influence is one of the tasks of the UNBA Committee on Information Policy and Media Relations.

Therefore, the Committee asks lawyers who have faced violations of guarantees of their activities by the media and individual journalists to provide information about such facts to o.shevchuk@mail.unba.org.ua or fill out the appropriate Google form.

Since it is also a matter of disregard for journalistic standards and the provisions of the Law of Ukraine «On Media», the collected information on specific facts will be sent to the state media regulator to find ways to resolve this problematic issue.

Chairman of the UNBA Committee

on Information Policy

and Media Relations                                                                                                                                 O. Shevchuk

04.03.2024

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