The government proposed to deprive lawyers who left Russia of their status

The Government Commission on Legislative Activities has prepared its amendments to the bill amending the Law “On Advocacy and the Bar,” according to which lawyers can be deprived of their status if they leave Russia for more than a year or move to another country for permanent residence. About it reported Kommersant with reference to the Federal Chamber of Lawyers (FPA).

“The status of a lawyer is terminated by the council of the Bar Chamber in the presence of a conclusion from the qualification commission if it is revealed that the lawyer has left the Russian Federation for permanent residence or for a period of more than one year,” the text of the amendment says.

It is clarified that this provision will not apply to cases where lawyers left Russia “for treatment or training or accompanying family members sent to perform labor or other functions by government bodies or Russian organizations” or for other valid reasons.

The authors of the amendment explained its importance by cases where lawyers left for a long time or moved for permanent residence to other states and “continue their activities, including those aimed at undermining trust in the institution of the legal profession.”

Vice-President of the FPA Oleg Baulin noted that the departure of lawyers abroad for a period of more than one year will not become an automatic basis for deprivation of lawyer status. “Advice [адвокатской палаты] may not make such a decision (on deprivation of lawyer status – ed.). Procedurally, lawyers who left Russia are protected in the sense that it is their colleagues who will determine the outcome of the decision,” he noted, clarifying that although the qualification commissions will include representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the final decision will be made by the council of the bar association.

Amendments to the law “On advocacy and advocacy” were entered for consideration by the State Duma in February 2023; in April, the document was approved in the first reading. It was developed by the Ministry of Justice together with the FPA. The bill also provides for the creation of a unified register of lawyers in Russia, in which it will be possible to find information about the status of a lawyer, his certificate, and membership in the regional chamber of lawyers.

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