Statement of the Ukrainian Bar Association regarding cases of corruption in the bar and the judiciary

The Ukrainian Bar Association (UBA, Association) is concerned about the information that appeared in the public space on 15.05.2023, about corruption with the participation of representatives of the bar and judges of the Supreme Court. We, like the entire legal and civil communities, await a full, comprehensive and quick investigation into the facts of corruption, and notification of the public on the results of the investigation.

At the same time, bearing in mind the presumption of innocence, we call on the authorities and society to closely monitor the investigation and trial processes, but not to draw premature conclusions before the court delivers the relevant decision.

We also urge the authorities to complete the judicial reform and the reform of the bar in Ukraine as quickly as possible, with paying special attention to the measures aimed at ensuring the professionalism and integrity of all participants of court proceedings, as well as the fight against corruption.

In view of the above, the Association, without evaluating the decision of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of 16.05.2023, supports the intention of the Supreme Court to respond to the challenges before it and to ensure selfcleansing from persons who undermine trust in the judiciary. In addition, the Association emphasizes that the Supreme Court cannot bear institutional responsibility for the actions of its President or judges, even if the latter are proven guilty.

The Association once again declares that zero tolerance for corruption is one of the fundamental principles of UBA. We strive to support the development of the legal community of Ukraine in accordance with the best international standards. Professionalism, ethics, and integrity of lawyers are qualities without which the value of the legal profession is completely nullified. The UBA positions itself as a community of like-minded people united by respect for the rule of law and human rights. Membership in the UBA is based on shared values and principles.

Given the importance of ethics and integrity for the legal profession, the UBA has been working on the issue of legal ethics for a long time and has prepared a draft Code of Ethics for Legal Business, which, among other things, emphasizes the importance of zero tolerance for corruption in the legal market. The draft Code is available at the link. We invite the legal community to join the public discussion on this issue and call on all members, participants and partners of the UBA to do everything possible so that the policy of zero tolerance for corruption becomes the cornerstone of the development of the legal services market in Ukraine.

The full text of the UBA's statement is available via the link.

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