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Legal news in Ukraine: The parliament is back to work, amendments to the Law on Free Legal Aid came into force, new judges of the Supreme Court are appointed, report on the violation of the lawyers' rights in Ukraine

02.09.2018 / 10:45
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Legal news in Ukraine: The parliament is back to work, amendments to the Law on Free Legal Aid came into force, new judges of the Supreme Court are appointed, report on the violation of the lawyers' rights  in Ukraine

The ninth session of the Verkhovna Rada will begin On September 4

The ninth session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the eighth convocation will start on September 4, 2018 at 10:00, reports the Information Department of the Council’s Office.

The registration of people’s deputies will begin this day at 9:00 on the sidelines of the session hall.

On Tuesday, September 4, deputies should consider in the first reading the bill No. 5699 on amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine regarding the improvement of the legal protection of intellectual (industrial) property and the bill No. 7538 on amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine regarding the improvement of the legal protection of inventions and useful models.

Also in the draft agenda is the re-first reading of the Draft Law No. 6424-d on amendments to the Housing Code of the Ukrainian SSR and other legislative acts of Ukraine regarding the provision of the rights of owners (users) of residential buildings and the second reading of the Draft Law No. 5395-d on amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine on improving the activities of the State Bureau of Investigations.

On Wednesday, September 5, are scheduled ratification issues and bill No. 4591 on the establishment of a business ombudsman (second reading).

On Thursday, September 6, the Council should consider the issues of national security and defense, in particular, the bill No. 6268-1 on amendments to some laws of Ukraine on increasing social protection of servicemen (second reading) and bills No. 7017 and 7017-1 on amendments to the Criminal Code of Ukraine regarding liability for illegal crossing of the state border (first reading).

In addition, the Government's draft Law No. 7286 on amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine on increasing responsibility for certain offenses in the field of road safety and the draft law No. 8336 on amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine regarding strengthening of guarantees of independence of forensic expert and proper enforcement of forensic expertise are to be on the agenda of the first reading.

Amendments to the Law on Free Legal Aid came into force

Amendments to the Law of Ukraine «On Free Legal Aid» came into force on August 28, 2018, which specify the specific issues of such assistance.

According to the changes, secondary assistance to individual subjects of law will be provided no more than 6 times during the budget year and no more than by six mandates/orders issued by centers of free legal aid at the same time.

Also, changes have been made to the category of cases interests in which can be represented by employees of centers for the provision of free secondary legal aid: in disputes arising from labor relations; in disputes concerning the protection of social rights; on elections and referenda; in minor controversies; in the interests of minors or juveniles and persons recognized as legally incapacitated or whose legal capacity is limited.

The detailed grounds for the termination of the provision of legal assistance and the list of grounds for replacing lawyers or employees of regional centers have also been supplemented.

In particular, you can replace a lawyer or an employee of a regional center:

in case of illness, full or partial loss of ability to work, death of a lawyer or employee of the Center for the provision of free secondary legal aid;

improper performance by a lawyer or a center employee of their obligations under the terms of the contract;

the refusal of an advocate or an employee of the Center to execute an instruction/order;

changes in the jurisdiction of the proceedings or the case or the jurisdiction of a criminal offense;

termination of the agreement on the provision of free secondary legal aid;

termination of an employment contract with an employee of the Center for the provision of free secondary legal aid;

suspension or termination of the right to engage in advocacy;

exclusion of an attorney from the Registry of Lawyers who provide free secondary legal assistance.

Provision of free secondary legal aid is terminated if:

the person submitted false information for the purpose of assigning it to one of the categories of persons entitled to free secondary legal aid (in this case, the person must reimburse the expenses);

circumstances or grounds, in which the person was able to receive legal assistance, ceased to exist;

the person uses the protection of another defender or has attracted another representative in the case;

the person has used all national remedies in the case;

a person, who receives free secondary legal aid, who is wanted in criminal proceedings;

a person, who receives receiving free secondary legal aid, is recognized as missing or declared dead.

The President appointed three new judges to the Supreme Court

The President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko supported with his orders the submission of the High Council for Justice on the appointment of Supreme Court’s three judges.

Valentina Symonenko was appointed to the position of Supreme Court judge in the Cassation Civil Court, Victoria Macedonian – to the post of Supreme Court judge in the Cassation Administrative Court and Serhiy Slinko – to the post of Supreme Court judge in the Cassation Criminal Court.

It should be noted that Article 37 of the Law of Ukraine "On the Judiciary and Status of Judges" determines that the Supreme Court does not include more than 200 judges.

On September 8, a contest was announced to the Supreme Court. There are 78 vacant posts for positions of judges (a total of 196). 26 positions – in the Cassation Administrative Court, 16 – in the Cassation Economic Court, 13 – in the Cassation Criminal Court and 23 – in the Cassation Criminal Court.

According to part one of Article 38 of the Law of Ukraine «On the Judiciary and Status of Judges» a judge of the Supreme Court may be a person who, in particular, meets one of the following requirements:

has at least ten years of experience as a judge;

has a scientific degree in law and experience of scientific research in the field of law for at least ten years;

has experience in the professional activities of a lawyer, including the performance of representation in court and/or defense against a criminal charge for at least ten years;

has accumulated work for at least ten years.

UNBA published a report on the violation of the lawyers’ rights in Ukraine

Ukraine National Bar Association has published a report on violations of the lawyers’ rights and guarantees of advocacy in Ukraine.

The document is the second supplement to the publication and contains an analysis of violations for the period 2013-2018. The report is published in Ukrainian and English and will be sent to the international partners of UNBA.

The report contains (in the form of an infographic) information on the number and types of crimes against lawyers, the number of instituted criminal proceedings and the state of their investigation. Data are also represented by years and displayed in dynamics.

A separate section of the report provides an overview of international and national standards of professional rights, including the practice of the European Court of Human Rights.

The report describes individual cases of violations of the lawyers’ rights throughout Ukraine. The report’s conclusions provide information on the activity of UNBA and the profile committee in the process of restoring professional rights.

Full text of the report can be downloaded here.

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