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Politics 2020-09-15T05:17:57+03:00
Ukrainian news
President's Bill 9055 Invalidating Cooperation Between Lawyers And Human Rights Activists - Ukrainian Helsinki

President's Bill 9055 Invalidating Cooperation Between Lawyers And Human Rights Activists - Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

On February 28, 2019, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine plans to consider the first reading of the bill 9055 On Advocacy And Legal Profession. Authors and supporters of the bill are trying to prove its progressiveness, enhancement of guarantees for lawyers and expansion of rights. This follows from a statement made by the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.

However, if the bill is adopted, all lawyers cooperating with human rights organizations will be deprived of the opportunity to conduct lawyer activity within the framework of cooperation with those organizations. Hundreds of cases submitted by lawyers representing those organizations to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), and thousands of cases sent to national institutions will remain a mere reminder of the bygone activity as there will be no one at human rights organizations able to submit new appeals to the ECHR and national courts.

In his conclusion on the bill 9055, Diego Garcia Sayan, Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, noted that the restriction enshrined in Article 28 of the bill 9055 might be negative for lawyers having to choose between full employment and carrying out lawyer activity, which, certainly, will be negative for the access to justice throughout the country, in particular, for low-income people. His report highlights a whole number of risks and threats for independent lawyer activity, such as the order of bringing lawyers to disciplinary responsibility, unfounded types of disciplinary measures affecting the independence of lawyer activity and therefore, appropriate protection at courts.

It is noteworthy that the process of work on the bill itself was absolutely nontransparent. According to the Diego Garcia Sayan's report, consultations with lawyers had very confined nature, and the final bill was published by the President's office without an opportunity to even comment on its contents.

Nontransparency, secrecy of the bill's preparation and submission, absence of high-quality professional examination, for instance, by the Venice Commission, hastiness with which they tried to bring the bill through the session hall of the Ukrainian Parliament, confirm low-quality process of its elaboration and low-quality contents of the bill itself. Without proper amendments the bill is threatening the protection of human rights and can be considered as an assault on the human rights protection environment.

The Human Right Agenda platform has called on the members of the Ukrainian Parliament to prevent considering and adoption of the bill 9055, according to the report of Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Diego Garcia Sayan. The text of the bill must be revised, publicly discussed and amended in compliance with the remarks of representatives of the lawyer society, human rights organizations and international experts. The Human Right Agenda platform has demanded transparency, fairness and quality from the bill 9055.

The Human Right Agenda platform is an informal coalition of human rights organizations engaged in settlement of systemic issues of the legislation and practice of carrying out of fundamental human rights. Participants in the platform are the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, Kharkiv Human Rights Group, Civil Rights Center, Amnesty International in Ukraine, Human Rights Information Center, Law Enforcement Activity Research Center, Without Borders project, Euromaidan SOS, etc. The Civil Rights Center coordinates the work of the platform.

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