February 10, 2022 in Kyiv at the address on the street Kyrylivska, 15, a meeting of the Kyiv Region Bar Council was held, during which a number of important issues were resolved, in particular, regarding the holding of the Meeting and Conference of Kyiv Region Bar Associations.
We will remind, in accordance with Art. 47 of the Law of Ukraine "On Advocacy and Advocacy", the highest body of self-government of lawyers in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, regions, cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol is the Conference of Lawyers of the Region, which is convened by the Council of Lawyers of the Region at least once a year. Previously, on January 13, 2022, the Kyiv Region Bar Council decided to hold the February 18, 2022 Meeting of Lawyers for the Election of Delegates to the Report-Election Conference of Kyiv Region Lawyers, and on February 19, 2022 – the Report-Election Conference of Kyiv Region Lawyers.
At the same time, during the period 13.01-10.02.2022, the epidemiological situation in Ukraine significantly worsened.
The increase in new registered patients with COVID-19 may increase during the next two weeks. Such a forecast was announced by the Minister of Health Viktor Lyashko at a briefing on February 7. The increase in new identified patients only for the period 01.02 – 07.02.2022 amounted to 44%. According to the forecasts of the Ministry of Health, in the period until February 20, this number may still increase to 60 thousand people per day.
Also, the Bar Council of the Kyiv region received an appeal from the Committee of Veterans and Social Protection of RAKO lawyers dated February 8, 2022, with a request to consider the possibility of postponing the Meeting on the nomination of delegates and the reporting and election Conference. "Currently, there is a situation in which, on the one hand, many veterans, just like lawyers, are generally deprived of the opportunity to participate in the above-mentioned Meetings and Conferences, and on the other hand, their participation increases the risk of illness due to a significant crowding of people in a closed room." – said in the appeal.
Under these conditions, the Bar Council of the Kyiv region decided to additionally discuss the situation with the time and place of the Meeting and Conference.
After all, in accordance with Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 1236 dated December 9, 2020 "On the establishment of quarantine and introduction of restrictive anti-epidemic measures to prevent the spread of the acute respiratory disease COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus on the territory of Ukraine", it was decided to establish a quarantine on the territory of Ukraine from December 19, 2020 to March 31, 2022 .
Therefore, the premises chosen for holding Meetings and Conferences should meet the maximum level of protection of lawyers during their holding. At the same time, taking into account the potential large number of participants of the Meeting and Conference (several hundred), Council members expressed concern about the possibility of ensuring their adequate level of security on February 18 and 19.
In addition, the participants of the Meeting and Conference will face additional risks of infection with COVID-19 when traveling to the venue, gathering people in elevators, and when registering participants. There is an additional danger during the Conference for the registration committee (when registering participants and issuing ballots) and the counting committee (when counting open voting votes).
The Constitution of Ukraine establishes that human health is a key constitutional value ("the highest social value") (part one of Article 3), and health protection is a possible basis for limiting a number of other constitutional rights: the right to freedom of thought and speech, on the free expression of one's views and beliefs (Article 34), the right to freedom of outlook and religion (Article 35), the right to assemble peacefully, without weapons and to hold meetings, rallies, marches and demonstrations (Article 39), the right to strike (Article 44) …" etc.
Under such conditions, on February 10, 2022, the Council of Bars of Kyiv Region adopted a decision by 12 votes "in favor" to postpone "the holding of the Meeting of Bars from the Election of Delegates to the Report-Election Conference of Lawyers of Kyiv Region and the Report-Election Conference to Improve the Epidemiological Situation in the City of Kyiv and Kyiv oblast".
The new time, date and place of the Meeting and the Conference will be notified in addition.