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Constitutional scholar Stavniychuk: National Bar Association of Ukraine is not a public organization

Maria ShevchukSociety
Constitutional scholar Stavniychuk: National Bar Association of Ukraine is not a public organization

It is incorrect to say that the Law "On the Bar and Practice of Law" does not comply with Article 36 of the Constitution (which guarantees freedom of association in public organizations). After all, the National Bar Association of Ukraine, which unites all Ukrainian lawyers, is fundamentally different in status from public associations.

This opinion is substantiated by constitutional expert Maryna Stavniychuk, who took an active part in the preparation of the current Law on Public Associations, in her article "The Ukrainian Bar: European Future or Back to the Soviet Union?" for New Voice.

She draws attention to the fact that the bar self-government bodies, by virtue of the law, perform a number of regulatory, qualification and disciplinary functions that are limited to their members.

"Self-regulation of the professional activities of the Bar is a necessary component of its self-government. That is why, by its constitutional and legal nature, the National Bar Association of Ukraine is fundamentally different from the organizations operating in Ukraine in accordance with the Law "On Public Associations," writes M. Stavniychuk.

According to her, today in Ukraine there are about fifty non-governmental organizations whose activities are somehow related to the legal professions. Lawyers are also their members. However, being directly related to the process of drafting and adopting the Law on Public Associations, the author argues that its provisions do not apply to the activities of self-regulatory professional organizations.

"Therefore, when some 'experts' claim that the Law "On the Bar and Practice of Law" does not comply with Article 36 of the Constitution (which guarantees the freedom to form public organizations), it is clear that by such manipulations they are destroying the bar in its integral self-governing and self-regulated form," Stavniychuk is convinced. - "Self-regulation of the Ukrainian Bar and its bodies should be understood as a systemic and organizational process of internal statutory activities inherent in bodies with discretionary powers.

The specifics of the National Bar Association of Ukraine's organization of its activities described in the article indicate its special legal status, which is fundamentally different from public organizations. Therefore, ignoring this fact when assessing the activities of the Bar is a rejection of Ukraine's European course, enshrined in the Constitution. Because Ukraine has the newest law in Europe, the Law on the Bar and Practice of Law. It was prepared and adopted as a European integration law. And its adoption on the condition that a professional organization of lawyers with a single membership in the Ukrainian National Bar Association was created was part of the implementation of Ukraine's commitments to the Council of Europe.

And the rejection of the chosen model of bar self-government (and over the past decade we have already witnessed such attempts) implies the denial of the key principle of independence of the bar, which directly affects the state of protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Ukraine.

The full article by M. Stavniychuk can be found here.

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