Does the FLA system dismiss lawyers who turned out to be inconvenient?

Advocacy
14:36 Wed 01.05.24 60 Reviews
Print

The contract with the lawyer who asked uncomfortable questions about the distribution of assignments and payment for services in the free legal aid system was not extended.

The situation was discussed at the last meeting of the Bar Council of Ukraine on April 30.

Oksana Kadenko, a member of the UNBA from Khmelnytsky region, chairman of the UNBA Committee on Legal Aid, explained that the lawyer had previously tried to find out the reasons for the refusal, but the regional center of free legal aid explained its decision by the lack of justified need, i.e., want. But this argument cannot be accepted, because at the same time competitions are being announced. That is, there is still a need to conclude contracts with lawyers. Perhaps this was done to deprive the lawyer of access to information about problems in the system.

So what exactly is the «justified need to engage lawyers to provide free secondary legal aid» that is used by the FLA system as a criterion for announcing competitions and deciding on the conclusion of contracts with lawyers? O. Kadenko also said that earlier this need was explained by the discretion of the person making the relevant decision. Such a paradox, when the objective need is actually determined by subjective considerations, requires the study of statistical indicators, namely: how many advocates fulfill assignments, what kind of assignments they are, how many contracts are terminated or not extended, the figures of negative assessment of internal monitoring, etc.

Yuriy Gordeev, a member of the UNBA from Ternopil region, who also works at the local FLA center, noted that in their practice, contracts were signed with all lawyers who were in the register and who expressed a desire. He suggested that there was some kind of personal conflict in the situation under consideration. At the same time, Y. Gordeev expressed his belief that if a lawyer passed the competition procedure, he had the right to work with the system and the administrative staff should sign a contract with each lawyer. He was supported by Victoria Gaivoronska, head of the Kharkiv Regional Bar Council, who believes that there can be no quantitative quotas. And if a lawyer is included in the register of lawyers who have the right to provide free legal aid, the center has an obligation to conclude a contract with him or her.

Lidiya Izovitova, the President of UNBA, BCU suggested looking at the problem in the context of how the UNBA can help those who find themselves in a similar situation. The lawyers who passed the competition and were included in the register are entitled to provide free legal aid, and this right, if violated, is subject to protection. Although the competition itself also has a dubious legal basis. After all, a person who has received the right to practice law can obviously also provide legal aid in the FLA system. However, these considerations of the Bar are unlikely to be accepted by the state body. Vadym Krasnyk, Head of the UNBA Secretariat, also doubts the feasibility of the competition. He suggested that the case in question is not the only one among the nine thousand lawyers in the register, and in fact, many of them may not have contracts.

Following the discussion of the issue, the participants of the meeting concluded that the state (represented by the FLA centers) has an obligation to conclude contracts with lawyers who have passed the competition and have been included in the register of lawyers providing free secondary legal aid. To protect lawyers, the relevant provision should be enshrined in the Procedure and Conditions for Concluding Contracts with Lawyers Providing Free Secondary Legal Aid (Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 8 of 11.02.2012). The Bar Council of Ukraine will address the Government and the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights with the relevant proposals.

Popular news

Advocacy

Pressure on lawyers is an indicator of human rights violations in Ukraine – UNBA

The growing pressure on the bar threatens to deteriorate the human rights situation in Ukraine. The statistics on violations of the guarantees of the practice of law indicate a threatening situation for the effective and safe professional activity of defense lawyers.

13:14 Thu 09.05.24 114

Advocacy

In 2023 no one was notified of suspicion of crimes against lawyers

In 2023 the Unified Register of Pre-trial Investigations registered 167 crimes committed against lawyers. During the same period, only five proceedings were considered in court. At the same time, only one case resulted in a verdict. The rest were closed.

17:08 Mon 08.04.24 133

Advocacy

FLA needs urgent help, - Valentyn Gvozdiy

Twelve years of existence of the free legal aid system in Ukraine is enough to understand the inability of the Ministry of Justice to effectively manage this area.

17:23 Fri 29.03.24 199

Advocacy

The Ombudsman is concerned about the state of the FLA system

The Secretariat of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights is ready to join the development of proposals for amendments to the legal acts developed by the Ukrainian National Bar Association that will improve the functioning of the free legal aid system.

19:27 Thu 28.03.24 250

Advocacy

When courts ignore the guarantee of free choice of defense counsel

If the defense in criminal proceedings is successful, the prosecution sometimes tries to «replace» the defense counsel in certain procedural actions with the support of the court. For this purpose, lawyers from the FLA system are appointed.

15:32 Tue 26.03.24 119

Advocacy

Passports abroad: what should Ukrainians know?

Due to the hostilities in Ukraine, more than 180,000 Ukrainian citizens are in the UK. The Ukrainian consulates in the UK provide all kinds of support to Ukrainians, including passport issuance.

14:43 Tue 26.03.24 101

Advocacy

Ombudsman to provide legal aid with support of UNBA - pilot project

The Office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights has launched a pilot project to provide professional legal aid to citizens in five regions of Ukraine.

11:58 Tue 26.03.24 175

Advocacy

Fee - UAH 151 per hour and constant delays in payments: how can lawyers continue to work?

Half of the lawyers involved by the state in providing citizens with free secondary legal aid consider the biggest problem of the existing system to be the payment for the services they have already provided, including the insufficient level of funding.

12:43 Thu 21.03.24 124

Надішліть файл із текстом публікації у форматі *.doc, фотографію за тематикою у розмірі 640х400 та Ваше фото.

Оберіть файл