Roundtable Discussion on the key principles of draft modifications to Law of Ukraine on Advocacy and Legal Profession on April 14, 2016 was dedicated to the topic “Advocacy reform: attorneys’ expectations”.
Igor Fomin, managing partner in Fomin&Partners, delivered his position on the requirements to future paralegals and the process of evidence gathering on the event initiated by Ukrainian Bar Association.
In his speech the attorney comes down to the idea that the person, who obtained Bachelor’s degree, can become a paralegal. Precisely this qualification is enough to get experience in law and to develop professional skills.
‘As to Master’s degree, it is necessary to undergo training and become an attorney, but to be a paralegal, get certain experience, skills and everything you need to develop your legal career in the future, Bachelor’s degree is enough’ claimed I.Fomin.
The attorney made a special focus on problems of legislative regulations in the evidence gathering process including the relevance of attorney’s right of access to information.
‘ It’s necessary to point out that a lot of discussions are being held on this topic, because people don’t understand we cannot act in another way as we live under old Criminal Code of Practice. We are used to learning the materials of an old criminal case when the time comes (old Art. 218). Nowadays, there is no such procedure. We have to forget about it, as, currently, it is called “discovery of evidence by the prosecution and the defense”. If we don’t have the right to gather evidence, we will move on to the procedure, because advocacy cannot exist without this right. I’m often asked whether an attorney can have access to national security information. Maybe he can if it is relevant to provide defense in the course of legal proceedings’ said I. Fomin.