Regional cooperation network of lawyers in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine

COMPARATIVE CHART

Procedural and institutional setup of the functioning of lawyers in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine

Main components of the overview Armenia Belarus Georgia Moldova Ukraine Azerbaijan
Statistics
Number of advocates 2191¹ 2115 9390² 1995³ 53760⁴ 2135
Number of women advocates 964 (44%)¹ Value Value 365 (18,3%)³ 19907 (37 %) 381 (17,84%)
"Country population and ratio to the number of advocates (per 100 000 inhabitants)" 70 22 397 49 123 21
"Civil society organisations representing young lawyers membership" "Young lawyers' association" "Council of Young Lawyers of the Belarusian Republican bar association" “Georgian Young Lawyers' Association” "Young Lawyers Association" "Young lawyers' committee "NextGen" ELSA Alumni Society Azerbaijan / 250 members
Legal framework
Constitution
  • Article 64 "Right to Receive Legal Aid"
  • Article 67 "Right to Be Defended Against a Charge"
Article 62 (right to legal assistance)
  • Article 13 "Human liberty"
  • Article 31 "Procedural rights"
  • Article 25 "Individual Freedom and Security of Person">
  • Article 26 "Right to Defence"
  • Article 59 (right to legal assistance)
  • 131-2 (bar)
  • Article 61. Right to legal assistance
Laws Law "On Advocacy" of 14 December 2004 Law "On Advocacy and Legal Practice" of 19 December 2011 Law "On Advocates" of 20 June 2011" Law "On Advocacy"" of 19 July 2002 Law "On Advocacy and Legal Practice" of 5 July 2012 Law "On lawyers and legal practice" of 28 December 1999
Main by-laws
  • Code of Ethics of Advocates
  • Regulation for Disciplinary Procedure
  • Decrees of the President
  • Resolutions of the Council of Ministers and of the Ministry of Justice
  • legal acts of the Republican Bar (the methodical recommendations or guidelines)
  • Charter of the Georgian Bar Association
  • Code of Ethics of Advocates; Regulation on Disciplinary Proceedings
  • Statute of the Legal Profession
  • Regulation on the Organization and Functioning of the Union of Lawyers
  • Code of Ethics (Deontology) of Lawyers
  • Regulations, instructions, orders and other acts of the Ukrainian National Bar Association
  • Ethics rules
  • Charter on the Lawyers Rules Of Conduct
  • Azerbaijani Bar Association's Charter
  • Lawyers' Disciplinary Commission's Charter
  • Lawyers' Qualification Commision's Charter
  • Other regulations of the Azerbaijani Bar Association
Institutional framework
Forms of lawyers' practice established by law
  • Individual entrepreneur
  • Partnerships
  • Limited liability companies
  • Closed joint stock companies
  • Individual practice
  • Bureau
  • Legal consultation
  • Individual practice
  • Partnership
  • Entrepreneurial legal entity
  • Individual law office
  • Associated lawyers' bureau
  • Individual practice
  • Bureau
  • Law company
  • Individual practice
  • Law offices
Title and organisation of the national bar association, according to law
  • The "Chamber"
  • Other self-governing bodies include the General Assembly of all Advocates, the Council, the School of Advocates, the Qualification Commission, the Chairperson and the Office of Public Defender
  • The "Republican bar association"
  • Other self-governing bodies include the Council, the disciplinary and the auditing commissions
  • The "Georgian bar association"
  • Other self-governing bodies include the General Assembly of all its members, the Chairperson, the Executive Council, the Ethics Commission and the Audit Commission
  • The "Union of Advocates"
  • Other self-governing bodies include the Congress of all advocates, the Council of the Union, the President of the Union, the Secretary General of the Union and specialised commissions (licencing, on ethics and discipline, of censors)
  • The "Ukrainian National Bar Association"
  • Other self-governing bodies include the Congress of all advocates, the Council, the Higher disciplinary and qualification commission and the Higher auditing commission
  • Bar Association of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Relations between the lawyers' association and the Ministry of Justice Full independence The Ministry of Justice has broad powers concerning the bar, including:
  • registration of local bar associations,
  • determination, jointly with the Republican bar association, of the minimum number of advocates in the legal consultations in each region
  • enacting, jointly with bar associations, the Rules of professional ethics for advocates
  • establishing of the procedure of the advocates’ appraisals
  • approval of the candidates for the positions of the heads of the legal consultations and local bar associations
  • overseeing the activity of advocates enacting
Full independence The Ministry of Justice has some limited powers concerning the bar, including the management of a united register of advocates and the issuing of licences Full independence Full independence
Non-governmental organisations of lawyers Armenian Lawyers' Association and several other associations of lawyers The Council of Young Advocates of the Belarussian Republican bar association, the Association of Woman Advocates Georgian Advocates for Independent Profession, Union of Law Firms of Georgia, Independent Union of Georgian Lawyers, Young Lawyers, Association of Law Firms of Georgia Young Advocates Association, Association of Female Advocates "FAM" The Association of Ukrainian Lawyers, the Ukrainian Bar Association, the Association of Woman Lawyers in Ukraine Bar Association of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Access to legal profession
Law degree requirement Law degree required Law degree required Law degree required A "licentiate" law degree required (similar to bachelor's degree), or an equivalent. Law degree required Law degree required
Other admission criteria Full legal capacity, no criminal convictions Full legal capacity, no criminal convictions, no previous disbarment or dismissal from law-enforcement bodies At least one-year professional experience No guardianship established by court, no criminal convictions for serious offences, no prior disbarment o dismissal from law-enforcement bodies, no prior "violation of others' basic human rights as established by a court decision" Command of the official language, two-years professional experience work experience not less than three years or the activity not less than three years in the field of law in scientific and pedagogical, educational institutions, passing qualification examination at Qualification Commission composed of oral interview and written test for identification of professional fitness and completing compulsory training courses in training-scientific institution of the relevant body of executive power
Restrictions Foreign advocates are required to obtain a special authorisation from the Council of Advocates. Incompatibility with elected offices, public or military service, health condition. Advocates can not work on permanent basis for the Government or a private company. Their practice shall also be suspended in case of the military or alternative service or child care (up to 3 years age)⁵. Advocates can not hold public services offices provided for in the law "On Conflict of Interests and Corruption in Public Institutions" (President, MPs, members of government, etc.)⁶. Persons with double dual citizenship, who have obligations before other states, persons who were recognized as incapable or limitedly capable in accordance with the law, incapable to perform lawyer duties due to mental or insufficiencies on the basis of medical opinion received in accordance with legislation, persons whose verdict for committing minor, grave or specifically grave crimes was not effected or was vacated; persons towards in respect of whom court decision on application of forced medical measures was taken may not be lawyers
Requirements as to further training of lawyers
24 hours per year 1 week every 5 years 12 hours per year 40 hours per year 10 hours per year Regularly
Freedom of exercise
Procedural guarantees
  • Right to make binding inquiries to the State and local authorities and business entities
  • The advocate and his family are under the protection of the State
  • Limited liability companies
  • Inviolability of the advocate's house, office, car
  • Prohibition of any interference with the advocate's practice
  • Right to seek and obtain documents from anyone
  • Absence of procedural guarantees in case of a search in the advocate's office
  • The advocate is under the protection of the State
  • Partnership
  • Entrepreneurial legal entity
  • A search in the advocate's office or home can be done only on the basis of a court order
  • Prohibition of body and personal searches when exercising professional duties
  • Right to seek and obtain documents from anyone
  • Freedom to express opinions
  • A search in the advocate's office or home can be done only on the basis of a court order
  • Freedom to express opinions
  • Right to make binding inquiries to the State and local authorities and business entities
  • Institutions, enterprises and organizations, irrespective of their organizational form, shall be obliged to render assistance to lawyers in the course of performance of professional duties by them
  • Mediation of employees of judicial, investigation bodies, inquiry bodies and other state bodies associated with the rendering legal assistance between the lawyer and the person, who is being provided with the legal assistance, shall not be permitted
  • All applications to lawyers and their organizations shall remain confidential. Protection and provision of safety of lawyers shall be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan «On state protection and provision of safety of persons participating in criminal proceedings
Lawyer-client privilege Prohibition to disclose professional secrets
  • Prohibition to disclose professional secret
  • Impossibility be head the advocate as a witness in connection with his or her practice covered by the professional secret
  • Prohibition to impede with confidential meetings and/or to limit their frequency or duration
  • Prohibition to hear the advocate as a witness in connection with his or her practice covered by the professional secret
  • Prohibition to intercept communications between the advocate and his or her client
  • Prohibition to hear the advocate as a witness in connection with his or her practice covered by the professional secret
  • Prohibition to reveal to third parties any information covered by the professional secret
  • Prohibition to hear the advocate as a witness in connection with his or her practice covered by the professional secret
  • Prohibition to reveal to third parties any information covered by the professional secret
  • Prohibition to involve the advocate in confidential collaboration during search operations or investigative actions
  • Detained, arrested and convicted persons shall be provided with conditions required for meetings and consult actions with the lawyer in private and confidentiality
  • Interrogation of the lawyer about the facts, which are known to him/her in connection with the performance of professional duties by him/her, shall be prohibited
  • Documents and other evidences, lawyer’s proceedings (records) collected by lawyers in connection with the performance of professional duty bodies shall not be demanded and seized by investigation and judicial In the course of detention of the lawyer or adoption of the decision on bringing him/her to criminal liability, the information thereof shall be immediately submitted to the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Bar Association
  • Obtaining of information with exercise of professional obligations shall constitute the lawyer’s secret
  • Distribution by the lawyer of known information constituting the secret of preliminary investigation shall be permitted exclusively with the consent of the prosecutor or investigator
  • Lawyers guilty in distribution of information constituting the secret of preliminary investigation shall bear liability as provided for in the legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan
  • The lawyer may not be summoned and questioned as a witness on facts made known to him/her in connection with rendering legal assistance to the person who applied for it
  • The lawyer shall not provide explanations on indicated facts and distribute information made known to him by the defendant. Information constituting the lawyer secret may not be deemed to be an evidence in criminal, civil and administrative cases, under which the lawyer renders legal assistance, as well as in court proceedings with participation of that lawyer
Free legal aid
National legislation
  • Article 64 of the Constitution;
  • Article 41 of the Law "On Advocacy" of 14 December 2004
  • Article 62 of the Constitution
  • Article 28 of the Law "On Advocacy and Legal Practice" of 19 December 2011
Law "On legal aid" of 19 June 2007 Law "On Legal Aid Guaranteed by State" of 26 July 2007)
  • Article 59 of the Constitution
  • Law "On Free Legal Aid" of 2 June 2011
Article 20 of the Law "On lawyers and legal practice" of 28 December 1999
Organisation of the provision (who provides, who pays) Office of the Public Defender, which is an institutional part of the Chamber. In criminal cases, the body conducting the investigation. Financed by the state budget. Local bar associations on their own funds. At the expense of the state budget in certain cases (victims of human trafficking or terrorism). Legal Aid Service (independent entity), at the expense of the state budget. National Legal Aid Council at the expense of the state budget. Coordination Centre for Legal Aid Provision at the expense of the state and local budgets and other sources. The amount shall be paid non-cash by the Bar Association of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the law office or to the lawyer acting on an individual basis at the expense of the funds allocated to the Bar in the state budget for these purposes based on the reasoned decision of the institution conducting the investigation.
Types of cases covered
  • Criminal cases
  • Civil cases relating to: claims for child support payments
  • Claims for compensation in cases of a death or serious bodily injuries
  • Employment disputes
  • Claims for child support payments
  • Claims for pensions and social payments
All types of cases All types of cases All types of cases
  • During the investigation, a person is provided with a lawyer at the expense of the State based on the decision of the institution conducting the investigation. In criminal cases, a lawyer is appointed for a person in court on the basis of a court decision.
  • In civil cases, a lawyer can be appointed at the expense of the state on the basis of Court (Appellate or Supreme) decision for a person in connection with a cassation appeal only to the Supreme Court.
  • According to the proposed new draft law, by the decision of the Court, in civil cases, a lawyer will be appointed for a low-income persons in all court instances.
Groups/persons eligible
  • "Vulnerable persons" (refugees; victims of domestic violence, trafficking or torture; disabled persons
  • Persons with mental disorder)
  • Persons lacking sufficient funds to pay for legal services
  • World War II veterans
  • Disabled persons
  • Minors
Everyone as regards oral consultations. For court representation, drafting of documents or defence in criminal cases: persons lacking sufficient funds to pay for legal services, "vulnerable persons" (asylum-seekers, disabled persons, victims of domestic violence).
  • In criminal cases: persons lacking sufficient funds to pay for legal services and if the participation of an advocate is obligatoryI
  • In other types of cases: persons lacking sufficient funds to pay for legal services and children who are victims of crimes or domestic violence
  • In criminal cases: to everybody;
  • In other cases: persons lacking sufficient funds to pay for legal services, victims of military conflicts, children, disabled persons, internally-displaced persons, owners of land plots located in villages (in connection with the land-related disputes), victims of domestic violence, refugees.
Persons detained in administrative order, persons suspected or accused of criminal cases and persons who do not have sufficient funds to pay for the services of a lawyer in court. Payment of legal assistance rendered to the person recognized as legal heir of the deceased victim by lawyer is also provided at the expense of the state budget of the Republic of Azerbaijan, except for cases when court has placed the payment on the convicted person
Professional liability
Related legislation
  • Code of Ethics;
  • Rules of Disciplinary Procedure
Rules of Professional Ethics Code of Ethics Code of Ethics (Deontology) of Advocates Rules of Ethics Charter on the Lawyers Rules Of Conduct,Lawyers' Disciplinary Commission's Charter
Main/common types of offences
  • Disclosure of professional secrets
  • Conflict of interest
  • Insulting other advocates, public official, judges or any other persons
  • Disclosure of professional secrets
  • Conflict of interest; insulting other advocates, public official, judges or any other persons
  • Negligence in dealing with the client's case
  • Disclosure of professional secrets
  • Conflict of interest
  • Professional misconduct
  • Disclosure of professional secrets
  • Conflict of interest
  • Professional misconduct
  • Disclosure of professional secrets
  • Conflict of interest
  • Professional misconduct
  • Failure to comply with decisions of bar associations
Failure to comply with the provisions of contract with the client, low quality legal assistance, insulting persons
Sanctions
  • Warning
  • Participation in additional training sessions
  • Fine
  • Disbarment
  • Warning
  • Severe warning
  • Disbarment
The disciplinary sanctions:
  • warning
  • temporary suspension of the right to practice law from 6 months to 3 years
  • disbarment. The disciplinary measures:
  • personal letter of reprimand
  • termination of the advocate's membership in the bodies of the Georgian Bar Association
  • Warning
  • Reprimand
  • Fine
  • Temporary suspension of activity
  • Disbarment
  • Warning
  • Temporary suspension of the right to practice law
  • Disbarment
Remark, reprimand, suspension of advocacy activity for the period from three months to one year, appeal to the court on disbarment
Who/what body defines and imposes sanctions Council of the Chamber Disciplinary Commission of the local bar association Ethics Commission of the Georgian Bar Association Commission of Ethics and Discipline of the Union of advocates Disciplinary Chamber of the Qualification and Disciplinary Commission of a local bar association Board of the ABA
Appealing decisions on sanctions Appeal before a fist-instance court of general jurisdiction within one month from the date of the notice about the imposal of the sanction Appeal before the Disciplinary Commission of the Republican bar association within one month from the date of the notice about the imposition of the sanction. Its decision can be appealed before a court of general jurisdiction within one month from the date of that decision An appeal before the Supreme Court of Georgia (the Disciplinary Chamber) within one month from the date of the notice about the imposition of the sanction Appeal before an administrative court Appeal before the High Qualification Commission or a court Decision on suspension of legal practice for the period from three months to one year may be appealed to the court

1 Official website of the Chamber of Advocates of Armenia

2 Official website of the Georgian Bar Association

3 Data provided by Moldovan National Bar Association. Data relates to the lawyers with the right to practice. As of December 2019.

4 As of December 2019

5 Article 12 of the Law on the Var and Advocacy Activity in the Republic of Belarus

6 https://matsne.gov.ge/en/document/view/33550?publication=72