On May 19, 2023, during the regular meeting of the Committee for the Protection of Guarantees of Advocacy of the Kyiv Region Bar Council, a number of important issues related to the current activities of the Committee were discussed.
First, the chairman of the Committee, lawyer Leonid Sivakov, stated the principled position of RAKO regarding comprehensive support for the activities of Committee members. After all, the members of the Committee cannot receive material benefits or wages for their work. However, they spend their time and effort to adequately protect their colleagues, and therefore deserve at least the highest standards of security for their operations. Therefore, any request in this part from the members of the committee will be considered on a priority basis. In particular, new zoom conference equipment was recently purchased – so that even those colleagues who cannot be present offline could take part in the meetings. In addition, the same equipment will be used for instant communication with RAKO during long or complex investigative actions. Also, a coffee machine was purchased for the needs of the committee members, as well as suggestions regarding the completion (development) of new identification vests, adapted to various weather conditions, were heard.
Secondly, in view of the recent high-profile investigations, including the leak of documents that were seized by law enforcement officers during the search of the head of the Supreme Court Vsevolod Knyazev, the members of the Committee were provided with information on how to properly handle any photos and search video. It is also emphasized that any responsibility can arise only if the participant of the search is properly informed and warned about the non-disclosure of the secret of the pre-trial investigation.
Consideration of the issue of determining the grounds for the departure of Committee members in order to protect the rights and guarantees of lawyers turned out to be fundamental. It was decided that lawyers who received a lawyer’s certificate and took an oath, but did not register with the Unified Register of Lawyers of Ukraine, as required by clause 3.5 of the Procedure for Keeping a Unified Register of Lawyers of Ukraine (and therefore did not pay fees for the self-government of lawyers), cannot be recognized as being subject to protection by colleagues who are conscientious about their duties. As Petro Boyko, chairman of the Bar Council of the Kyiv region, emphasized during the meeting, “it can be considered to some extent a political decision. But it will be fair if the lawyer, who fundamentally does not associate himself with the community, does not receive proper protection from the community. After all, even if a lawyer does not want to carry out activities, but wants to use the guarantees of protection, he could join the Register, pay the fee and simply immediately suspend his activities. If he does not consider it necessary, then lawyers should not waste their time and effort to defend him.”
The members of the Committee unanimously voted for such a position and appealed to the Council with a request to record such an order by a corresponding decision of the Kyiv Region Bar Council.