Main citation: "The professional level of legislative initiatives of a new wave cannot give either the legal profession or the justice system as a whole, except for crisis and chaos. Those who generate unsystematic amendments to legislation and the Constitution in vain cite presidential promises and the party’s general line. Indeed, the winners of the two elections of this year did not have the slogan "Let us leave everyone without the right to legal assistance and the right to appeal to the court."
A series of bills carries the risk of deviating from international standards in procedural rights and the status of the bar
A reform of the bar has proven to be popular on the political agenda once again. The bar will get the status of the opposition, which is good. It would be strange if we would just accept another attempt to restrict the rights of lawyers or turn lawyer's self-government into honorable ceremonies.
The new wave of judicial reforms obviously affects the legal profession. In the last parliamentary series, an attempt to change the profile law on the bar ended in a technical defeat - bill 9055 was recalled on the first day of the inauguration of the new president.
In today's reality, another tactic can be seen - instead of one systematic bill, restrictions on advocacy in parts are proposed, that is, by submitting various legislative initiatives.
Suddenly, a bill with the title-slogan "On the abolition of the advocate monopoly "became the first paragraph of the reform. Although, for the sake of terminological purity, there is no law on the introduction of a lawyer monopoly, but they decided to try to abolish it. It is unclear who the law disturbed in the third year of action. The exclusive right of lawyers to represent in courts has been quietly introduced into practice in 2016, with the approval of the Venice Commission, the parliament of the previous convocation (335 people's deputies supported the constitutional changes in the field of justice back then), the bar association, the Council on judicial reform under the former president. Interestingly enough, at the new stage, those who remained silent for three years began to criticize the so-called monopoly. Perhaps they were afraid to object to the initiatives of the previous government or expected to receive certain bonuses from it? The Power has changed, and with it the position of a group of opportunists. No wonder.
It is difficult to predict what decision the Constitutional Court will take, where from October 17 the bill is considered for compliance with Articles 157 and 158 of the Constitution. From a legal point of view, it is interesting whether the Constitutional Court will contradict itself, because in 2016 the exclusive right of lawyers to represent was recognized as constitutional.
Bill 1008 , in addition to a complete redrawing of judicial administration, also applies to the scope of powers of advocate self-government. Here we are talking about restricting the right of the supreme body of advocate self-government to elect representatives to the High Council of Justice and the HQCJU. The quota of the congress of lawyers in HQCJU is generally abolished in connection with a fundamentally new mechanism for the formation of the commission (it is clearly more backstage, but for some reason they expect from it a new staff quality of HQCJU).
The right of the congress not only to appoint to the GRP, but also to dismiss its representatives from the bar is also limited. Dismissal will now be the prerogative of the Integrity Commission, where the "golden share" will be in the hands of an unexpected group of international experts. Who these people are, what their qualifications are, what their expertise is, and why their opinions in the personnel policy of Ukrainian justice will be decisive, is not brought up in the scandalous law 1008. It should be noted that the selection of the personnel of this commission and the procedure for the simplified dismissal of GRP members is a matter of concern for international partners from their first joint position, declared by the EU Permanent Mission to Ukraine and Canada , to the latest Council of Europe statements dated mid-October.
Recent initiatives to improve the life of the bar came from non-factional deputies Velmozhny and Sukhoi. Prior to being elected to parliament, they managed to be partners in the Kyiv bar association, without having the status of a lawyer. In the Verkhovna Rada, where they represent the districts of the Luhansk region, they do not lose interest in the legal profession and have already combined their talents for writing amendments to the relevant law. The bill No. 2303 offers several very different, unsystematic edits that have the character of a personal Wishlist. They solve the personal problems of the two authors of the bill. The most dangerous idea is to transfer the Unified Register of Lawyers "to the system of public electronic registries." This is not only a raiding of the bar or a raiding of the registry, it is also an attempt to establish state control over the bar, and this point-and-click revision to the law on the bar is very consistent with this task. Why? Now the URLU is conducted by the Council of Lawyers of Ukraine and regional councils, in a two-level confirmation mode. The law provides this function exclusively to advocate self-government and this is one of the guarantees of non-interference by the state in the activities of the legal profession. Moreover, the registry contains a large amount of data, and only partly public. In the non-public part, there is a huge amount of personal information. For example, the tax collection office has long been interested in the registry, but the Council of Lawyers has repeatedly denied tax authorities access to the non-public part of the registry. The profile of each lawyer indicates his current status of activity, the presence of disciplinary decisions regarding him - all of this from legal criteria that are required to be entered into the register legally, can turn into an instrument of pressure on one or another lawyer. but the Council of Lawyers has repeatedly denied tax authorities access to the non-public part of the registry. RAU proceeded from a clear understanding that such a step would open up unlimited possibilities for tax audits of lawyers. Moreover, the profile of each lawyer indicates his current status of activity, the presence of disciplinary decisions regarding him - all of this from legal criteria that are required to be entered into the register legally, can turn into an instrument of pressure on one or another lawyer.
Interestingly, many of these legislative initiatives show plagiarism. The new law on advocacy is created, like Frankenstein, from parts of bill No. 9055, which was safely buried six months ago. At the same time, the new “reformers” and “alarm clocks of the bar” do not even try to create the appearance of a discussion with deliberative bodies, such as the abolished Council on Judicial Reform, the role of which is now being performed by the Legal Reform Commission. The professional level of legislative initiatives of a new wave can give neither the bar, nor the justice system as a whole nothing but crisis and chaos. After all, the winners of the two elections of this year did not have the slogan "Let us leave everyone without the right to legal assistance and the right to appeal to the court."