On March 20, 2023, representatives of the Kyiv Region Bar Council met with French lawyers.
On behalf of RAKO, the meeting was attended by Petro Boyko , Chairman of the Kyiv Region Bar Council, Volodymyr Polishchuk , Kyiv Region KDKA Chairman, Pavlo Lutsyuk , Kyiv Oblast Ambassador of Lawyers Abroad, RAKO members Oleg Chernobai , Dmytro Dmytrenko , Viktor Chevguz , and Hanna Pavlenko , heads of the KDKA Qualification and Disciplinary Chambers. Yuliya Boyko and Yevhen Stepanov , as well as the director of the Charity Fund of Lawyers of the Kyiv Region, Mykola Zamkovenko .
Isabelle Clanet, head of the Upper Seine Bar Association, visited Kyiv from sunny France with her friends – Stéphane Dunikowski , a representative of the NGO "Ukrainian Legal Society" in France, lawyers Claire Boullery , Gabriel Seba ( Gabriel SEBBAH) and Arnaud de Saint Remy, representative National Council of Bars of France.
At the beginning of the meeting, Petro Boyko said that the absentee lawyers of the Kyiv region were already familiar with some of the French colleagues present, as they had once provided assistance to the charity fund of lawyers of the Kyiv region.
"Your help was very important. Because many of our lawyers lived in the cities most affected by the orc invasion – Buchi, Irpen, Borodyantsi. In addition, solar generators given by French colleagues as humanitarian aid were given to the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – and they they came in very handy there," said P. Boyko.
The words of great gratitude were supported by a corresponding certificate presented by Ms. Isabelle.
In her turn, Isabel Klyane presented the lawyers of the Kyiv Region with a commemorative medal from the Bar Association of the Upper Seine. It is noteworthy that in addition to the text of the oath of French lawyers, the medal also had an inscription in Ukrainian – "Glory to Ukrainian lawyers!"
French colleagues were also interested in the fact that the Bar Council of the Kyiv region is the largest bar association in Ukraine (currently almost 12,000 members), and the Upper Seine Bar Association is the third largest in France (2,500 lawyers).
During the meeting, Isabel repeatedly emphasized that she is very concerned about what is happening in Ukraine now, because her family comes from Izmail. After all, according to her, Ukrainian and French lawyers are one big family of lawyers.
On the other hand, the lawyers of the Kyiv region were surprised to learn that even in France, lawyers are sometimes forced to fight for their rights against the state, in particular, to stand guard over the lawyer's secret. So the two communities can enrich each other even in such a matter as protecting the guarantees of advocacy. By the way, this became one of the points of the Memorandum of Cooperation signed between RAKO and the Upper Seine Bar Association.
In turn, Arnaud de Saint Remy, who heads the specialized committee on human rights, focused more thoroughly on the actual issues of protecting the rights of children during the war, especially in the context of the recent decision of the International Court of Justice regarding the issuance of a warrant for Putin's arrest.
"We believe that Putin will sit on the dock, and no French lawyer will want to defend him," Petro Boyko remarked on this occasion, which caused an approving reaction from French lawyers.
According to Arno, their union immediately issued a press release a year ago in which it strongly condemned Russian aggression and expressed solidarity with Ukrainian lawyers, and already on March 2, French lawyers appealed to their own government and the EU to condemn Russian aggression at the national level . Arnaud also mentioned that Rouen, where he comes from, was also destroyed during World War II, but the city was completely rebuilt. "This shows that even on the scorched earth it is possible to resist, which now very much resonates with the events in Ukraine," concluded the Frenchman. Adding at the same time that "a Norman will not become friends so easily, but if he has already become a friend, then forever". And he told about one French custom – to give a second coin as a souvenir, which you can always carry with you and remember your friend. Petro Boyko gratefully received the following coin from his new friends: "Ukrainians have an indomitable spirit, but the support of foreign friends is extraordinary for us."
Claire Boullory noted that it was very important for the French lawyers to assess the situation themselves, seeing everything with their own eyes. She also added that her relatives said that she was very brave for going to Ukraine, but she herself considers Ukrainians who fight against the aggressor to be real brave.
Gabriel Seba from the Bar Association of Paris worked directly on the transfer of data to the International Criminal Court in the case of the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia.
And at the end of the meeting, the applause of the audience was interrupted by Stefan Dunikovsky, who came to Kyiv because he shares two things: he loves the profession of a lawyer and he loves Ukraine. To reinforce his words, the French colleague showed two t-shirts – one with words of support for Ukraine, and the other with a call to the Russians to go to hell!
According to Pavel Lutsyuk's apt expression, Stefan is the "motor" (symbiosis of the words motor and moderator) of friendship between French and Ukrainian lawyers.
At the end of the meeting, the event participants exchanged souvenirs.