Krasnodar, 26 Мay. Our today’s interviewee is Yuri Pustovit, Managing Partner of the Yug Law Bureau.
Q.: What challenges have been coped with by Russian bar association, and what are still to be coped with?
A.: We have managed to retain the principles of independence, self-government, corporatism and equality of lawyers. Lately, we can see the growing role of the state in all activity spheres; control and regulation are becoming tougher; banking secrecy and privacy of ultimate economic beneficiaries are not a secret for the state bodies any more. The challenges which we will have to be dealing with include retention of the abovementioned principles, and protection of attorney-client privilege.
Q.: How would you assess the new amendments to the law on legal practice?
A.: I think that a very disturbing trend is introduction of restrictions for lawyers’ inquiries and appearance of new grounds for denial of information. It often happens that in order to assume a client’s task or to fulfil it efficiently, a lawyer should receive some information from governmental authorities, which sometimes cannot be done without making an official lawyer’s inquiry. Now, when the new amendments take force, it will be more complicated. And, of course, the amendments related to a possibility of legal challenging of decisions of the Bar Council by an institution of justice, adopted upon recommendation of such institutions, are raising our unanimous fears. Expansion of Ministry of Justice’s competences in this sphere is a violation of the basic principles of attorneyship, and it may serve a tool to do away with disliked lawyers.