Protection of lawyers from arbitrary seizure of things and documents during searches: project

Draft law No. 7057 on strengthening the guarantees of advocacy activity was registered in the Parliament.
The draft law proposes to make changes to the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine and the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses in the sphere of regulation of ensuring the participation of the representative of the regional bar council during the conduct of certain procedural actions against the lawyer, implementation of the principles of limited procedural access to the premises, belongings and documents of the lawyer.
It is planned to add a new article to the Code of Criminal Procedure, the rules of which will regulate the search and inspection of the home or other possessions of the lawyer, to expand the list of grounds that can be appealed to the investigating judge in the event of a violation of the rights and legitimate interests of a person, which need to be renewed during a pre-trial investigation.
The draft law, in particular, proposes that:
  • A request for a search or inspection of housing, other possessions, a request for temporary access to a lawyer's things and documents must contain information about the ownership of housing, other possessions, things, documents to the lawyer, the number of his certificate of the right to practice law and an exhaustive list of things, documents , which is planned to be found, detected or removed;
  • During a search or inspection of a lawyer's home, other property, premises where he practices as a lawyer, a representative of the Bar Council of the relevant region in which the relevant premises (property) are located must be present. The representative of the bar council of the region acts in order to ensure the observance of the rights of the lawyer and the guarantees of the lawyer's activity, including the preservation of the lawyer's secret.
  • The investigator, the prosecutor, who will conduct the relevant investigative (search) action, in advance, but no later than twenty-four hours before its implementation, notifies the regional bar council in writing about the need to ensure the participation of its representative in the implementation of the relevant investigative (search) action.
  • Carrying out the specified investigative (search) actions without proper and advance notification of the regional bar council is prohibited, and the evidence obtained as a result of such actions is inadmissible.
  • The absence of a representative of the regional bar council at the place of the investigative (search) action, provided that the regional bar council is duly notified, does not prevent the relevant investigative (search) action from being carried out.
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