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International experts have condemned the reprisal by the leadership of the Ukrainian Bar Association against their colleagues

The leadership of the Ukrainian Bar Association used sanctions to punish their ‘inconvenient colleagues’ that are not used in any European country. This was pointed out by experts of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), a reputable organization gathering together over a million European lawyers.

The experts came with the express purpose to investigate the conflict situation related to the establishment of the Ukrainian National Bar Association.

It will be recalled that in 2012 there was a split-up in the lawyers’ community which resulted in the establishment of two National Bar Associations. One of them was quickly registered and the other one has not received any support of the state. After this the winning association began to persecute their colleagues for the difference of views.

Experts pointed out that the practice of prohibiting lawyers from expressing their opinions by court orders compromises both their independence and self-governance.

Representatives of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe expressed their concern regarding such disciplinary measures and the practice of preventing lawyers who have alternative points of view from performing their professional activities. They believe this practice is unacceptable and contravene the European standards. The experts underscored that in none of the European countries lawyers have ever used such sanctions against their colleagues who happen to have an opposite point of view. The experts have also recommended convening a new congress of lawyers.

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