Lawyer disbarred
14 October 2015

Lawyer disbarred


On 14 October 2015, Lawyers for Lawyers wrote letters to the Ukrainian National Bar Association in connection to the disbarment of lawyer Andriy Vishnevsky. Lawyers for Lawyers considers Andriy Vishnevsky’s disbarment a violation of his right to freedom of expression.

On 10 September 2015, the Qualification Disciplinary Commission of Kiev Region Advokatura decided to disbar Andriy Vishnevky. Disciplinary proceedings against him were initiated on the basis of two separate complaints: one by the National Bar Association and one by a Parliament Member. Both complainants alleged that Andriy Vishnevsky should have humiliated the Bar and every lawyer, and by doing so destroyed respect of the Ukrainian society for the Bar. On 15 June 2015, at a conference at the premises of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, Andriy Vishnevsky presented the report “The bar and free legal aid: approaches to the reform”. At this occasion he allegedly made a number of comments critical of the Bar and the legal profession. The decision to disbar him quoted him as saying that “if the Bar is not reformed as soon as possible in accordance with the principles and standards of the Council of Europe, it can become a hindrance to the implementation of the judicial reform”.

The Disciplinary Chamber was of the opinion that the statements of Andriy Vishnevsky made during the conference were contrary to the law and the Code of Lawyers’ Ethics and that he should therefore be disbarred.

Lawyers for Lawyers called on the National Ukrainian Bar Association to review and cancel the decision to disbar Andriy Vishnevky and return his lawyer’s license.

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