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The Bar Council of Kyiv, together with the Qualification and Disciplinary Bar Commission, are authorized to admit advocates into the Bar and keep records of Kyiv advocates in the Single Register of Advocates of Ukraine. However, in the capital, advocate's certificates can be obtained not only in the above-mentioned bodies. Thousands of people have unconfirmed or, to put it simply, fake documents, that is, they are fake advocates. What are the consequences for the most deceived advocates, whether they can protect people in the courts and where until now false evidence of the right to practice law is revealed, we learned from the head of the Bar Council of Kyiv Petro Ryabenko. He heads the Bar Council of Kyiv since 2016. He is an advocate, an active participant in many democratic movements, who was elected head of the representative body of the Bar.

"The existence of two bar councils in the capital is a toxic myth", - Head of the Bar Council of Kyiv Petro Ryabenko.

16:46 Mon 27.05.19 Author : Petro Ryabenko 146 Reviews 0 Comments Print

The Bar Council of Kyiv, together with the Qualification and Disciplinary Bar Commission, are authorized to admit advocates into the Bar and keep records of Kyiv advocates in the Single Register of Advocates of Ukraine. However, in the capital, advocate's certificates can be obtained not only in the above-mentioned bodies. Thousands of people have unconfirmed or, to put it simply, fake documents, that is, they are fake advocates. What are the consequences for the most deceived advocates, whether they can protect people in the courts and where until now false evidence of the right to practice law is revealed, we learned from the head of the Bar Council of Kyiv Petro Ryabenko. He heads the Bar Council of Kyiv since 2016. He is an advocate, an active participant in many democratic movements, who was elected head of the representative body of the Bar.

In the interview Ryabenko assures that, in fact, the scandalous draft law of authorship of the former President Poroshenko No. 9055 "On the Bar and Advocacy" made it possible to create several bar councils in each region. At the same time, there is an organization operating in Kiev under the leadership of advocate Inna Rafalska, who also calls itself the Bar Council. Ryabenko calls this organization fictitious and criminal and says that the courts no longer allow advocates or representatives with fake certificates, but he is sure that the deceived people will understand what happened and will turn to law enforcement agencies themselves.

The history of raiding, that is, the creation of duplicate illegal bodies of bar self-government in Kiev lasts about 3 years. In 2016, the composition of the Kiev Bar Council has changed, the odious Head of the Bar Council of Kyiv Inna Rafalska was recalled and you were elected. What is the current situation in the Kiev bar  self-government bodies?

To begin with, I want you to understand how the legal profession works. Since 2012, the bar works as a self-governing institution and under the auspices of the Ukrainian National Bar Association, the system of the Bar Council of Ukraine and the regional bar councils, Qualification and Disciplinary (CDBC) and audit commissions are merged. There are 3 bodies in each region - the Bar Council, the CDBC and the Audit Commission. The founder of regional bodies is the Ukrainian National Bar Association; and their composition is chosen by the advocates themselves at the conferences, the leadership of the Bar Council of Ukraine is elected by the Congress of the Advocates of Ukraine. Such rules work in all regions of Ukraine, but Kiev in a certain period was an exception.

Back in 2016, it was discovered that the Qualification and Disciplinary Bar Commission of Kiev was never created on the basis of the current Law on the Bar as a body of bar self-government, and a group of people took a beautiful name, and with the support and complicity of the former head of the Bar Council of Kyiv assigned functions of admission to the legal profession; it worked all in the status of a public organization, which was formally not influenced by the highest body - Bar Council of Ukraine. The "purse" of this public organization was and is LLC "Center for Internship and Further Development for Advocates". This limited liability company transferred money to those who wanted to become advocates - for passing exams, for internships, for documents that should confirm the right to practice law. These are millions of UAH from thousands of people. And these are thousands of people who have been given false documents - in fact, they never became advocates.

They investigated this problem very carefully, its only solution was to create and register the legal authority of the bar self-government - the QDBC of Kiev. This was one of the reasons for convening the extraordinary conference of aadvocates of the capital by the Bar Council of Ukraine, and in October 2016, Rafalska was recalled from the post of head of the Bar Council, Bar Council of Kyiv was re-elected and QDBC was formed. This conference was not an ordinary one. It brought to lights facts of other violations, which concerned the activities of not only the pseudo QDBC but also the former head of the Bar Council of Kyiv Inna Rafalska. Unfortunately, the struggle has not stopped. Rafalska and her support group are still trying to get their posts back and reanimate their schemes.

Successfully?

I will give one example. On April 2 of this year, changes were made to the Single Register of Legal Entities. Very strange. Almost all the data disappeared from the registration card of the Bar Council of Kyiv. At the same time, the registrar recorded Inna Rafalska as head of the Council. There were no legal grounds to change registry data. How is this possible? This was done by the so-called “dead” flash drive of the black recorders of the Ministry of Justice; that is, the registrar made changes to the registry, erasing current data until 2013, reestablishing Rafalska in the registry, ostensibly as head of the Council. Although even since then, the 5-year term of her election has long passed, and despite the fact that in 2016 she was removed from her post and the Kiev Bar Conference did not take any other decisions. Of course, we restored our registration. That is, only with such methods the Rafalska team with the help of “black registrars” can reanimate their lost powers. By the way, a few days after these changes in the register, the next mass issue of fake certificates to practice law took place and the funds of advocates were stolen from the Council’s account. In this example, both goals and methods are obvious.

As I understand it, there is the Bar Council of Kyiv, which is headed by you, and there is Inna Rafalska, who claims that she is also the head of the Bar Council of Kyiv? Are there really duplicate bar self-government bodies in Kiev?

The existence of two Bar Councils of Kyiv are a toxic myth that Rafalska herself and her environment spread. There is only one Bar Council Kyiv, this body of bar self-government is a separate legal entity, has a unique identification code; The collegial composition of the council was elected at the Kiev Bar Conference in 2016. Rafalska supports the myth of the "two councils" because several of her attempts to recover in the position from which she was recalled were unsuccessful. Moreover, today she is not even an advocate. Three decisions of the disciplinary commissions of different regions found violations of the Rules of Advocate's Ethics, decisions of the bodies of bar self-government and the Law on the Bar. This is a complex of violations, which eventually became the basis for bringing her to justice and depriving her of the right to practice law. I want to emphasize that in Kiev there is one bar council, which acts legally and has all the legal powers. The answer to the question of how many bar councils there are in Kiev is displayed in the Unified Register of Legal Entities. Once again, there is only one Bar Council of Kyiv, and it's headed by me - Petro Ryabenko. But I can say that getting confused is easily enough. The other day, Andrii Bogdan, the new head of the Presidential Administration, addressed the Kiev Bar Council. He is an advocate, and had to suspend its right to practice law. We satisfied his appeal and made changes to the Single Register of Advocates of Ukraine. At the same time, his similar statement appeared in the pseudo Bar Council named after Rafalska. Whatever they do with such statements, no matter how many times they publish it on Facebook, this cannot have any legal consequences for any advocate. Therefore, I sent a letter to Bankova, where I explained that in Kiev there was only one Bar Council that has the legal powers.

How does the Bar Council, which is headed by Rafalska manage to exist? Why does the advocates support her?

This is not a bar council, but a conglomerate of organizations with forged documents and an LLC on Belorusska Street, 30. The main sources of their income are fraud and exploitation of the prestige of the bar. Inna Rafalska does not recognize that advocates of Kyiv had the right to withdraw her in 2016, therefore she refuses to give access to the documents to the legal leadership of the Bar Council of Kyiv. It is sad that all advocates fees paid to these accounts until 2016 became her personal deposit. And after 2016 - by falsifying documents, she stole the money of advocates in the accounts of the Bar Council of Kyiv. I will also add that the fraudulent scheme at Belorusska, 30 is in effect - from time to time there "solemnly" issue fake certificates of the right to practice law. This conveyor works, while law enforcement officers are inactive.

Who is primarily interested in the fact that there will continue to be duplicate body of bar self-government, headed by Rafalska? Who supports her?

No wonder I remembered the prestige of the legal profession. This is an attractive profession, but it puts quite high qualification requirements at the entrance. Therefore, I do not exclude that fake testimonies even suit those who do not have the knowledge to honestly pass the real exam. Such a document is in demand among law enforcement officers, judges, including former or lustrated. This is a practical aspect. And here the interests are mutual. Therefore, it is beneficial for law enforcement authorities to have a loyal pseudo-structure in the bar. The Bar Council of the region has important powers to protect the rights of advocates. If an advocate is searched, then Council representatives must be notified in advance and present. Law enforcers are "comfortable" when the status of the council is suspended or it is headed by people with whom you can look for compromises in the possibilities to violate the rights of advocates. One good turn deserves another. There is a political aspect. The pseudo bar council in Kiev is needed by those who are not satisfied with the independent holistic advocacy as such. It is a mechanism for creating divisions within the legal community, a source of constant criticism of the actions of the UNBA, the initiator of a complete "demolition" of the entire UNBA during the so-called bar reform. After all, it is no secret that Inna Rafalska had the favor of the coordinator of judicial reform, the former deputy head of the Presidential Administration Oleksii Filatov, was an active participant in his working group, wrote a new version of the law on the bar. And the section on bar self-government was discharged on the basis of its experience in raider seizures of law-enforcement self-government bodies. In fact, Draft law 9055 allowed the creation of several bar councils in each region. It was an attempt to legalize the criminal know-how of Rafalska.

If Rafalska heads the Bar Council of Kyiv, then she essentially has the same powers as you. That is, decides on bringing advocates to disciplinary responsibility, deprives and issues certificates to practice law?

Once again, I emphasize that at the moment Rafalska has nothing to do with the legal profession. This is indicated by the open data of the Single Register of Advocates of Ukraine. The fact that from time to time in Belarus, 30 people print some kind of fake evidence of their right to practice law, they mislead people who want to become advocates, is only an indicator of the inaction of law enforcement agencies.

Have you appealed to law enforcement agencies regarding the activities of the alternative Bar Council of Kyiv? What is the reaction of law enforcement?

Of course. Since 2016, information on criminal offenses has been repeatedly entered into SRPTI. Further, the criminal proceedings were merged by the General Prosecutor's Office, the investigation was entrusted to the General Investigation Department of the National Police of Ukraine.

Were there any attempts to bring Rafalska to disciplinary responsibility by the QDBC? How did the attempts end?

The actions of Rafalska, who falsified the protocols of the alleged Kiev Bar Conferences, illegally conferred authority, issued fake certificated to practice the law, could not escape disciplinary proceedings. The right to practice law was suspended three times - by the decision of the Disciplinary Chamber of the QDBC of Vinnytsia region of August 17, 2017, of the Disciplinary Chamber of the QDBC of Rivne region of January 26, 2018, and again of the QDBC of Vinnytsia in February 2018. In November 2018, the QDBC of Chernihiv made a decision, which finally deprived Rafalska of the right to practice law. However, it's of no surprise that she continues to present herself as an advocate. But the data of the Single Register of Advocates of Ukraine and the legality of disciplinary decisions are unchanged. I emphasize that during the period of suspension of the right to practice law, an advocate does not have the right to exercise it and cannot participate in the work of the bar self-government bodies, including heading the Bar Council of the region.

The Supreme Court indicated that this is an internal conflict of the bar community and advocates themselves must resolve it. Who will win this game and whether there will be a winner at all?

All the courts on the legality of the election of the new composition of the Bar Council and the Head of the Bar Council of Kyiv in 2016 are won by us. The failure of the draft law No. 9055 is our common victory. I emphasize that the courts no longer admit as defenders or representatives persons with fake certificates. These deceived people will understand what happened, and they will turn to law enforcement agencies themselves. Here is a very relevant quote from Lincoln: " You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time." Therefore, there is no internal conflict within bar community, there is only a small group of Rafalska people who want to parasitize at the advocates of the capital, which Kiev bar will not allow.

The article is published on the website of the "Ukrainian News Agency".

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