FLA lawyers to receive payment in suspended proceedings - UNBA initiative supported by the Verkhovna Rada

14:07 Fri 24.05.24 52 Reviews

The provision of free secondary legal aid will be terminated by the decision of the FLA center if the criminal proceedings in which the person is being provided with such assistance are suspended. Now, the lawyers appointed in the case will be able to receive payment for the services rendered.

The relevant Law «On Amendments to Article 23 of the Law of Ukraine «On Free Legal Aid» was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on May 23. The draft law was previously prepared by the Ukrainian National Bar Association, proposed to the Subcommittee on Organization and Activities of the Bar, Legal Aid Bodies of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Legal Policy and submitted by MPs to the Parliament on April 19 under No. 11186.

As a reminder, according to Article 335 of the CPC, if the accused evaded court appearances or suffered from a mental or other serious long-term illness that precludes his participation in the trial, or was called up for military service during mobilization for a special period, the court suspends the trial against such an accused until he is found, recovered or discharged from military service.

On this basis, courts often decide to suspend court proceedings. Including in cases where the accused was provided with free secondary legal aid.

And in such cases, lawyers could not receive payment for the services they had already provided for an indefinite period of time due to the lack of the necessary grounds. According to the law, such payment and reimbursement of expenses was made only in case of completion of the proceedings or in case of early termination of the assignment. But it formally continued to operate because the FLA centers did not have the necessary authority to terminate it. Now this gap has been eliminated.

«On 19.04.2024, together with my colleagues, people's deputies of Ukraine, and at the initiative of the Ukrainian National Bar Association, I registered a draft law... which was adopted as a whole at a meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine today. -  commented Volodymyr Vatras, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Organization and Activities of the Bar, Legal Aid Bodies of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Legal Policy, who was one of the subjects of the legislative initiative. - From now on, in case of suspension of criminal proceedings in connection with the call-up of the accused for military service during mobilization, the order to provide FLA in criminal proceedings is suspended, which allows the lawyer to submit an act of providing free secondary legal aid with the relevant annexes and receive payment for the services actually provided».

The UNBA expresses its gratitude to the relevant parliamentary committee and all MPs who support the initiatives aimed at ensuring the rights and guarantees of the legal profession. According to the Constitution, everyone has the right to professional legal aid. In cases provided for by law, this assistance is provided free of charge. This right, despite the martial law imposed in the country, is not subject to restriction. And the implementation of this guarantee under the Basic Law is entrusted to the Bar.

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