The Ukrainian courts established a “monopoly of advocacy”

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On January 1, 2020, the final amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine came into force regarding the administration of justice in the country and henceforth the so-called “advocacy monopoly” began to work. But state and municipal authorities were not ready for  changes.

This UA-Times saw at a regular meeting in the case on the defense of the first “Osokorki eco park” in Kyiv, which took place on January 15 in the hall of the Cassation Administrative Court as part of the Supreme Court.

Now, the public organization of the same name is fighting in court for canceling the permission of the State Architectural and Construction Inspection for the construction of more than forty buildings by “Contact bud service” in the park.

We saw how the representatives of the authorized state and municipal structures who arrived in court simply could not express their position in court because of inappropriate representation.

However, on January 1, 2020, the final amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine regarding the administration of justice came into force,These changes are part of the judicial reform launched by the previous President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko back in 2016.

They completed the cycle of formation of the so-called “monopoly of the bar” on representation in court.

So, in accordance with Art. 131-2 of the Constitution of Ukraine,
Today, only a lawyer can represent another person (including legal entities – enterprises, institutions, organizations of all forms of ownership) in court, as well as defense against criminal charges.

Confirmation of this thesis is already found in the Transitional Provisions of the Basic Law of the State. So, paragraph 16 of section XV “Transitional Provisions” clearly defines: “Representation of state authorities and local authorities is carried out in courts exclusively by prosecutors or lawyers from January 1, 2020.”

Three and a half years was clearly not enough for domestic officials to take into account the relevant changes and amendments to the law – there are no lawyers in state bodies at all now.

In case No. 826/9175/18, the consideration of which is the public’s requirements to revoke the permission of the State Inspection for the construction of the “Osokorki” ecological park (Decision of the Kiev City Council on the creation of the park dated April 11, 2019), authorities and local governments are now represented by the Respondent – GASI and a third party who does not state independent claims for the dispute – the Department of Cultural Heritage Protection of the executive body of the Kyiv City Council.

Both representatives of the relevant authorities, who appeared at the hearing, complained about the insufficient amount of time that was provided for the actual implementation of the new requirements of the law.

In particular, the main reason why it is now impossible to properly represent the interests of the state and the capital city of Kyiv in the courts, were called …difficulties in making appropriate purchases, It turned out that the money that was laid down in the state budget and the city budget of Kyiv for 2020, the authorities received only in early January, and from that moment on, the procedure for organizing tender procurement for professional legal aid (concluding agreements on representing the interests of the city and state with professional lawyers). This procedure has not yet been completed.

In general, the budget of kyiv for 2020 was adopted only on December 12 last year at an urgently convened the day before this session of the City Council. we can not say about the state budget, the law on which was adopted much earlier than usual – on November 14, 2019, and What has GASI been doing all this time together with the ministry, – remains a mystery.

However, the results of the work of both state and municipal officials are rather disappointing.

At the end, after hearing the positions of those participants in the case who were admitted to its consideration, the court decided to declare a technical break in the court session until January 29, 14:00, It was noted that the participants to consider this case should use this time the efficiently as possible. so that the court could provide them at the next meeting with the opportunity to express their position.

Is this enough time for a long-term bureaucratic “laziness”
who is slow in everything – from issuing a criminal record to conducting public procurements in some areas, the questions will receive an answer to it on January 29 in court.


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