The ELF participated in a project financed by the International Bar Association (IBA) in Ukraine. The ELF, IBA and the CCBE were the partners in this project, whose aimed to collaborate in the improvement of the quality of legal services in the country. The implementation of the project started in November of 2014 and its activities were carried out till February 2016. One of the results of the project was the drafting of a booklet including recommendations that can be downloaded here: Report on the Project
The project focused on the following areas:
- Professional training of advocates in Ukraine: the system of compulsory continuing professional development (CPD) for advocates is provided by the Ukrainian Law on Advocacy and Advocates Activity of 2012. The internal rules and procedures have been already put in place. However, that system can be improved to be more effective for advocates and Bar Councils.
- Rights of audience: the public interest in ensuring the right of people to receive professional and qualified legal assistance is not guaranteed by the state at the present. This project will look for possibilities to introduce, amongst other things, limited rights of audience, ensuring that only advocates can represent clients in courts (in all capacities in criminal cases, in civil cases and administrative cases). This will give an additional security for clients since only advocates enjoy the system of professional guarantees (independence, confidentiality, immunity to be questioned with regard to their clients cases etc.) which are in the interest of their clients.
- Introduction of professional insurance for advocates. Ukrainian law does not provide for compulsory professional insurance for advocates. Even voluntary insurance is not widespread in Ukraine, since insurance companies either do not want to provide such a service, or they provide it with a lot of disclaimers and for high premiums. This situation leads to a lack of protection of clients’ interests and difficulties for Ukrainian lawyers to compete with international law firms based in Ukraine which can provide global insurance from their head offices abroad. Particularly, it becomes a problem for Ukrainian lawyers when dealing with international clients, who usually ask for professional insurance or are obliged to ask for it according to their internal compliance rules. The assistance of international experts from this project in drafting legislation and rules on implementation of compulsory professional insurance for Ukrainian advocates is very important.