Changes in UBA Structural Units: What's New?

2021-02-15

KYIV - February 15, 2021. The year 2021 has already brought for the Ukrainian Bar Association a number of innovations. First, new units emerged: Section of Enforcement Officers and the Commission of Forensic Experts. The decision was unanimously supported by the UBA Board on February 9 meeting.

*UBA structural units are divided into: committees (fields of law), sections (legal professions) and branches (regional offices of the Association). You can join the UBA activities following the link.

Until now, the enforcement officers operated within the division of the UBA Bankruptcy Law Committee, headed by the Deputy Chair of the Committee, private enforcement officer Andriy Avtorgov. To find out more about the future activities of this Section, we interviewed Mr. Avtorgov and the Chair of the UBA Competition Law Committee, Partner at Ario Law Firm Iryna Serbin.

- I have been chairing the committee for over 5 years. Therefore I cannot ignore the fact that it is through the joint efforts of the Council and its members that we have grown into a powerful union that truly influences important processes and legislative changes throughout the country.

In particular, our Committee, which includes a subcommittee on enforcement proceedings, has become the main platform for discussion and implementation of the reform of the execution of court decisions in Ukraine.

In our eyes and directly with the participation of all members of the Committee, the reform of the execution of court decisions was born and implemented: in 2016, the laws "On Enforcement Proceedings" and "On Bodies and Persons Enforcing Judgments and Decisions of Other Bodies" were adopted.

The institute of private enforcement officers has appeared and is functioning in Ukraine. I consider Ruslan Sydorovych, a member of our Committee, a People's Deputy of the 8th Verkhovna Rada, to be the father of reforming the system of execution of court decisions in the Parliament.

Since 2016 and to this day, the Committee has kept (and will continue to do so!) its hand on the pulse of judicial reform and is closely monitoring the development of self-government of private enforcement officers.

I am pleased to state that it is thanks to the active work of our unit that a new profession of private enforcement officer was born. Now a separate Section of Enforcement Officers has been created in the UBA, along with sections of judges, scientists, civil servants, etc.

I consider this our next joint victory and the statement that the new profession has already taken an honorable place among the legal community.

Congratulations to all colleagues and personally to the Deputy Chair of the UBA Committee on Competition Law Andriy Avtorgov, who, I am convinced, has gone through different challenges, preserving, in addition to professional, high moral and ethical principles.

I would like to emphasize once again that the members of our Committee and the UBA in general are endowed with such principles.

I wish inspiration and inspiration in the development of the Section, colleagues. I sincerely believe that everything will work out for us the best possible way!

Andriy Avtorgov, Deputy Chair of the UBA Committee on Bankruptcy Law, Chair of the Subcommittee on Enforcement Proceedings of the UBA Committee on Bankruptcy Law, private enforcement officer, Ph.D:

- Not so long ago, a new legal profession appeared in Ukraine - a private enforcement officer.

There are already many representatives of this profession among the members of the Association. These are lawyers with an active position in life, who participate in the UBA activities. UBA branch in Mykolaiv region for the second year in a row is headed by my colleague, a private enforcement officer.

It is also worth mentioning with gratitude that many members of the UBA - representatives of other legal professions - participated in the process of creating and establishing the institute of private enforcement officers.

In addition, the Association did not stand aside when the regulator encroached on the independence of private enforcement officers and attempts to introduce clumsy legislative initiatives.

The idea seems to be quite reasonable to unite the enforcement officers - members of the UBA - to carry out activities aimed at further development and popularization of the profession, to discuss problematic issues of enforcement proceedings and prospects for its reform.

However, this does not mean the creation of a "private club of private enforcement officers" within the newly created section. On the contrary, there should be constant dialogue and communication with representatives of other professions - lawyers, judges, arbitration trustees, notaries.

Today, among the urgent problems and challenges for private enforcement officers are:

- equalization of powers of public and private enforcement officers;

- introduction of a system of automated seizure of debtors' funds;

- digitalization of enforcement proceedings;

- improvement of the legislation so that the procedure of enforcement proceedings is convenient for the enforcement officer, the collector and does not violate the rights of the debtor;

- introduction of working mechanisms of responsibility of persons who evade execution of a court decision.

Another urgent problem was and remains the relationship of private enforcement officers with the regulator, in particular, the contradictory and inconsistent practice of the Disciplinary Commission of Private Performers under the Ministry of Justice.

However, it is worth acknowledging our own shortcomings. For more than three years, an updated full-fledged Code of Professional Ethics for Private Enforcement Officers has not been adopted. In the profession itself, zero tolerance has not been formed for enforcement officers who violate the law.

From the activities of the Section, I personally expect useful dialogues and fruitful discussions - both between private enforcement officers and representatives of other legal professions.

I also hope that members of the UBA, including scientists and legal practitioners, will join the work on  improving enforcement procedures.

Execution of a court decision is a necessary condition for the realization of everyone's constitutional right to judicial protection. The positive obligation of the state to ensure the execution of a court decision involves the creation of appropriate national organizational and legal mechanisms for the implementation of the right to enforce a court decision, able to guarantee the exercise of this right and binding decisions that have entered into force, which is impossible without their full and timely execution.

These mechanisms have been created, but to make them effective they need to be constantly improved and modernized.

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