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Profession of an advocate is one of the professions in which continuous professional development is a statutory obligation. This is not a Soviet relic, but just the opposite - the international standard of life-time learning adopted in legal professions all over the world. In the conditions of constantly changing legislation and reforming the judicial system in Ukraine, continuous professional development at the Bar is absolutely necessary.

New procedure for continuous professional development: key changes

15:05 Thu 20.06.19 Author : Ihor Orlov 55 Reviews 0 Comments Print

Profession of an advocate is one of the professions in which continuous professional development is a statutory obligation. This is not a Soviet relic, but just the opposite - the international standard of life-time learning adopted in legal professions all over the world. In the conditions of constantly changing legislation and reforming the judicial system in Ukraine, continuous professional development at the Bar is absolutely necessary.

Advancement of qualifications is carried out both by the bar self-governing bodies, the Ukrainian National Bar Association, the Higher School of Advocacy of UNBA, and accredited organizations and certified experts. To explain it briefly, the time invested in training is converted into points, which are confirmed by certificates and are taken into account in the bar councils of the regions. At the same time, the system for recording points is unified and translated online.

From April 1, 2019, a modernized advanced training system was introduced to Ukrainian advocates. Since July 1, the new procedural rules come into force.

From now on, the requirements for advocates are increasing, especially for those who are new in the profession. So, in the first year of activity you must pass the modular program "Young Advocate" in the Higher School of Advocacy. In the first three years, an advocate needs to listen to 16 hours of lectures, seminars and master classes (that is, get 16 points for each year). For the rest, there is a requirement to gain at least 10 points per year. It is specifically stated that at least 2 hours should be devoted to professional ethics and professional standards. It is assumed that half of the required points can be gained while studying abroad. The Ukrainian National Bar Association is a party to the Memorandum of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe “On Mutual Recognition of Cross-Border Advancement of Lawyers” along with other 45 European countries. If a Ukrainian lawyer undergoes professional development in any of these countries, his certificate is counted, and this practice is generally welcomed and brings our bar to a higher career level.

The new rules establish more stringent requirements for advanced training operators. From now on, small, little-known firms, whose advertising is crowded with the Internet and subway cars, will no longer be able to provide such services. Due to the fact that quite serious filters and barriers are exhibited, various “experts” and agencies will not be able to obtain the right to issue recognized certificates of professional development. The Center for Accreditation of the Higher School of Advocacy will manage this process. In order to restore order in the oversaturated and chaotic market of professional development of advocates, the “zero option” was adopted. That is, everyone who has previously been certified, since July 1, can no longer issue certificates of continuous professional development.

The regional bar self-government bodies retain their role in organizing training for advocates. together with the High School of Advocacy, the High Qualification and Disciplinary Commission of the QDBC of Kyiv will continue to organize seminars and lectures. In addition to the activities, the councils and the HDBC of the regions will continue to produce methodological literature and information materials, which we provide for free in the main office.

QDBC is also obliged to assign advocates for additional training on professional ethics in the event that a disciplinary decision is made regarding him for ethics violations.

What do we expect from the introduction of new rules? Of course, better content of training activities, the exclusion of a formal approach to continuous professional development as obtaining a certificate, the growth of the professional level of advocates and stronger training of young personnel. This is a reform that has become possible without changes to the profile law “On the Bar and Advocacy”, while it brings systemic changes and fully meets the contemporary challenges of the competitive market of legal services.

 

The article has been published on the site "Yuridicheskaya Praktika"

Автор публікації: Ihor Orlov

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