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26.09.2023

About valid reasons for non-appearance of a lawyer when summoned to court or other authorities

Decision of the Bar Council of Ukraine regarding the validity of the reasons for the non-appearance of lawyers to participate in court hearings during the consideration of cases, investigative actions and other jurisdictional procedures during martial law.

Non-arrival of a lawyer when summoned to a court or other authorities, as well as termination of his participation in relevant jurisdictional procedures, if this is due to the consequences of war, such as:

  • air alarm;
  • lack of electricity supply;
  • inability to use transport;
  • missile or other armed damage to the territory where the lawyer and/or relevant body is located;
  • occupation of the specified territory, etc.

All this constitutes a valid reason for the lawyer's failure to appear at the court session + the list is not exhaustive!!!

First, the circumstance must meet the requirements based on Part 1 of Art. 138 of the CCP, in particular: force majeure circumstances (epidemics – COVID-19, military events, natural disasters or other similar circumstances); absence of a person at the place of residence for a long time due to a business trip, travel, etc.; serious illness or stay in a health care institution in connection with treatment or pregnancy, provided it is impossible to temporarily leave this institution; death of close relatives, family members or other close persons or a serious threat to their life; untimely receipt of summons; participation in another meeting, if the date of the meeting was not agreed with the defense counsel (take into account the ECtHR's position regarding the "priority" of cases); participation in urgent investigative actions; business trip/vacation; other circumstances that objectively make it impossible for a person to appear at a summons.

Secondly, such a circumstance should objectively (and not subjectively) make non-appearance impossible. Thirdly, the circumstance itself must be confirmed by convincing evidence. Fourth, if possible, the court/parties are notified in advance.

Evgeny Morozov, lawyer

Source: Legal Bulletin of Ukraine

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