Charter of friendly Bars
Charter on The Fundamental Principles of Advocate’s Activity adopted in the VI St. Petersburg International Legal Forum
On May 19, as part of the VI St. Petersburg International Legal Forum a round table “Similarities in the regulation of providing legal assistance to businesses in the CIS and Baltic countries” took place. Following this discussion, a historical event happened - representatives of advocate communities of eight countries - Republic of Armenia, Republic of Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russian Federation, Republic of Tajikistan, Republic of Uzbekistan – adopted the Charter on The Fundamental Principles of Advocate’s Activity.
The round table was held by president of the Russian Federal Chamber of Advocates Yury Pilipenko. In his opening speech he mentioned that our countries and advocate corporation have a lot in common not only in terms of history, but also of contemporary legal regulation. The Bars of our countries face common problems that have to be solved by joined efforts, exchanging experience and developing professional connections.
President of the Republican Bar Association of the Republic of Belarus Victor Chaychits, member of the Council of the Lithuanian Bar Association Edmundas Budvitis, vice president of the Council of advocates of the Bar of the Kyrgyz Republic Gulnara Sheyshekeeva, president of the Republican Bar Association of the Republic of Kazakhstan Anuar Tugel discussed contemporary regulation of advocate’s activity and the Bar in their countries, as well as the state of professional legal assistance as a whole.
The main issue of the speech given by Victor Chaychits was unification of the legal profession and introduction of advocate’s monopoly for court representation in the Republic of Belarus. According to him, the simplified admission procedure to the Bar effective during the transition period (persons with a lawyer’s certificate and at least five years of experience in providing legal service were admitted) was an unsuccessful innovation. It often turned out that these persons did not possess practical experience necessary for advocate’s activity and are unfamiliar with rules of professional conduct of an advocate. Victor Chaychits believes that an interview or even an exam is necessary for admission of practicing lawyers to the Bar.
Edmundas Budivitis discussed the experience of the Lithuanian Bar in the field of legal protection of businesses; Gulnara Sheyshekeeva highlighted the latest changes ito the regulation of the legal services market in the Kyrgyz Republic and their influence on support of businesses; Anuar Tugel analyzed the guarantees for advocate’s activity contained in the legislation and law enforcement practice of the Republic of Kazakhstan that allow for effective protection of businessmen.
Executive director of “Assistance to corporate legislation development” non-commercial partnership Yelena Avakyan analyzed the relations between the rights of the state to govern the legal profession and the obligations undertaken by the state upon entering the World Trade Organization. She mentioned that according to the obligations undertaken by our country upon entering the WTO it is necessary to introduce monopoly of Russian advocates for court representation in all kinds of proceedings. As for activity of foreign law firm in Russia, the relations with them should be built on a mutual basis.
The round table was followed by a ceremony of signing the Charter on The Fundamental Principles of Advocate’s Activity. As Yury Pilipenko mentioned, this is not a binding, but rather a declarative document confirming that the advocate communities signing the Charter are committed to the fundamental principles of the advocate’s profession:
“The participants of the Charter confirm their readiness to uphold the fundamental principles of the legal profession established in this Charter, their implementation in the national legislation, and they also guarantee mutual respect for each other and the intention to join their efforts for the benefit of the Bar and for the sake of human rights protection.”, this document states.
The Charter is signed in duplicate – in Russian and in English. The document was signed by:
The Charter on The Fundamental Principles of Advocate’s Activity is adopted in the VI St. Petersburg International Legal Forum. Original copies of this Charter in Russian and in English are kept in the archive of the Russian Federal Chamber of Advocates. This Charter is open for signature to any Party that shares the purposes and principles established herein. The Charter shall become effective for each Participant upon signature.
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