10:42 03.09.2019

Zelensky proposes abolish advocates' monopoly in representing defendants in court

2 min read
Zelensky proposes abolish advocates' monopoly in representing defendants in court

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has proposed to parliament to amend the Constitution of Ukraine and abolish the provisions about the fact that only the advocate represents other person before court.

The text of the corresponding bill (No. 1013) on amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine regarding the abolition of the advocates' monopoly is posted on the website of the Verkhovna Rada.

The bill proposes to amend Part 4 of Article 131-2 of the Constitution and to enshrine that "only an advocate shall defend the person against prosecution."

The current version of this constitutional provision provides that "only an advocate represents another person before the court and defends a person against prosecution."

Accordingly, it is proposed to remove a paragraph about cases for which there may be exceptions – when it comes to labor disputes, social rights protection disputes, disputes related to elections and referendums or for representation before the court of minors or adolescents from Article 131-2.

At the same time, the bill proposes to remove subparagraphs, which contain the dates of enforcement of the provisions of the Constitution that only an advocate can represent the interests of other persons before the court, from the transitional provisions of the Constitution.

The provisions that the president proposes to amend were enshrined in the Constitution as part of the justice reform of 2016.

The law is expected to enter into force on the day of its publication.

According to the procedure for considering constitutional amendments, the Verkhovna Rada must send the corresponding bill to the Constitutional Court in order to obtain a conclusion on the compliance of the initiative with Article 157 and Article 158 of the Constitution.

After receiving the conclusion of the Constitutional Court, the parliament may preliminary approve (adopt at first reading) this bill with at least 226 votes. After that, at the next regular session, the Rada may consider it for final adoption. This will require at least 300 votes of parliamentarians. This procedure is established by the Constitution of Ukraine.

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