Tag Archives: Ukraine

Russian Invasion Upends Life for Ukrainian Lawyers, a Year Later


Adam Mycyk was asleep in his home in Kyiv, Ukraine in late February 2022 when the blare of missile strikes shook him awake.

His mind raced. Where’s the nearest bomb shelter? What if the electric grid is hit?

The Dentons partner then spent the first day of Russia’s invasion scrambling to organize coverage for companies he advises.

“I was in the middle of two deals at that point—maybe three—that were mostly Ukraine-related, but cross-border in nature,” said Mycyk, 56, a mergers and acquisitions lawyer, in an interview. “These things still had to move forward.”

The Russian invasion has upended the lives of lawyers in Ukraine, forcing them to confront safety, psychological and logistical challenges as they work from a country under siege. Nearly a year after the siege began, the lawyers who fled are carrying on as refugees in foreign countries, wondering when they’ll be able to return.

For those who remain in Ukraine, any sense of normalcy is interrupted by hours of air raid sirens day and night.

“You could have a court hearing, and then the sirens would go off and the court had to adjourn the hearing,” said Roman Hryshyn-Hryshchuk, a CMS Legal Services litigation associate. “Sometimes you had to conduct them while literally hiding in the shelter.”

Hryshyn-Hryshchuk has been in the small, western town of Vyzhnytsia since February, when he left Kyiv to stay with his parents. He is banned from leaving the country and said he’s hesitant to travel between regions as suspicions about runaways or saboteurs escalate among authorities and defense volunteers.






Ukrainian lawyer with procurement expertise gets new start on life and career in Canada


Last February, Mykyta Zhukov was enjoying a holiday in the Dominican Republic with his wife, celebrating their birthdays with “blue ocean, white beach, palm trees and waterfalls.”

But that idyllic vacation was shattered on Feb. 24 when the Ukrainian lawyer specializing in public procurement and litigation started getting emails from friends and relatives saying that Russia had invaded Ukraine. “The first notification from our parents and friends shocked us. We were scared.”

Zhukov, who, in addition to running his law firm, is head of the Ukrainian Bar Association’s committee on constitutional law, administrative law, and human rights, realized that the invasion would forever change his life and career.

And so began an odyssey that took Zhukov and his spouse to Poland, Ireland, and now Canada.


His Ukrainian Bar Association committee work also led to the association signing a memorandum of cooperation with Irish Rule of Law International (IRLI), an organization founded by the Law Society of Ireland, the Bar of Ireland, the Law Society of Northern Ireland, and the Bar of Northern Ireland. The purpose of the memorandum agreement is to promote the rule of law and harness the skills of lawyers in tackling global injustice, inequality, corruption, and conflict. Zhukov also was involved in founding the Association of Ukrainian Lawyers in Ireland.


Given the ease of doing legal work remotely, Zhukov is still fulfilling his duties with the Ukrainian Bar Association while working on building his business in Ukraine and outside. He also realizes he is facing a new challenge in applying his professional skills in a new country. While he would have to take the relevant courses and exams to become a lawyer in Canada, he feels there are still many ways he could apply his professional skills and abilities, along with his interest in legal technology.

He also wants to be an unofficial “ambassador” for Ukraine, providing information about the country and its people. “I am happy to share my experience in finding new contacts, finding clients, as well as potential forms of cooperation with foreign companies,” he says, adding that his experience could be useful for lawyers of Ukrainian heritage worldwide.






https://unba.org.ua/news/7792-advokati-hersonshini-muzhn-o-vistoyali-period-okupacii.html (UKRAINIAN)

CCBE rights awards for Ukrainian lawyers


The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) has decided to grant its Human Rights Award 2022 to both Ukrainian human-rights lawyer Nadia Volkova and the Ukrainian National Bar Association (UNBA).

The lawyers’ group praised their courage, determination, and commitment to defending human rights and the rule of law in Ukraine.

CCBE President James MacGuill SC will present the awards during a CCBE plenary session on Friday (25 November) in Brussels.

Rule of law

“With this award, the CCBE wishes to highlight the important role that the legal profession plays for Ukrainian citizens in defending their fundamental rights,” the organisation said.

“It will also demonstrate the need to preserve the integrity of the administration of justice and the rule of law, especially in times of war,” it added.

The annual award highlights the work of one or more lawyers or lawyers’ organisations that have demonstrated outstanding commitment and sacrifice in upholding fundamental values.







https://unba.org.ua/ (UKRAINIAN)





The Crimean Solidarity movement was set up by lawyers, journalists, and relatives of those arrested following the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014.

The organization has persisted through many years of struggle, and still exists despite constant threats and attacks. Many in the movement are citizen journalists regularly targeted this year by Russian authorities in Crimea. Their homes are routinely raided, and they are often jailed.

Now, three lawyers who represent those targeted have themselves been attacked. The three – Lilia Hemedzhy, Rustem Kyamilev, and Nazim Sheikhmambetov – are advocates representing many of those in the estimated 200 cases brought against members of the Crimea Solidarity movement.

“They are under constant surveillance, and now the authorities have taken away their permission to practice as lawyers. It was done on a technicality,” Demir Minadirov of Crimea Solidarity told me when we met in Kyiv last week. In July the three were stripped of their lawyers’ licenses, effectively preventing them from representing their clients in court in criminal cases.

He says since 2017, pressure on the movement has intensified and around 50 members have been jailed, with many detained on the word of secret witnesses.

“We’re trying to make these cases as well-known as possible, to draw attention to what’s happening in Crimea. We’re asking for international solidarity from lawyers and lawyers’ associations. We want them to contact the authorities and say they know about what’s happened to Lilia Hemedzhy, Rustem Kyamilev, and Nazim Sheikhmambetov,” he said.

Human Rights First knows the power of international solidarity with human rights lawyers. HRF’s roots are in the legal human rights community, and we were founded in 1978 as the Lawyers Committee for International Human Rights.

Since then, we’ve worked with human right lawyers all over the world. In the last decade we’ve supported and worked alongside human rights defenders who are lawyers in places including BahrainEgyptHong KongHungaryKenyaNorthern IrelandPolandSaudi ArabiaThe PhilippinesThe United Arab Emirates, and of course Ukraine.

Some of the lawyers whose work we’ve highlighted are in prison, others risk their lives to carry out their legal work in defense of the rights of others, and most are under some sort of harassment or pressure. We know from decades of experience that public solidarity with lawyers at risk in other parts of the world can be a powerful support.




https://unba.org.ua/news/7739-naau-podyakuvala-za-pidtrimku-evropejs-kim-kolegam-z-federacii-advokatur-evropi.html (UKRAINIAN)




Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) supports institutional independence of Ukrainian legal profession


Ukrainian National Bar Association Vice President Valentyn Gvozdiy held a working meeting with the President of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), James MacGill, and the head of the organization’s secretariat Simone Cuomo during the annual conference of the International Bar Association (IBA) in Miami (USA)

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Law Enforcement, Ukrainian MP Sergii Ionushas, ​​also took part in the meeting, emphasizing the exceptional importance of the work of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in the field of European integration.

As you know, with our country receiving the status of a candidate for membership in the European Union, the Ukrainian National Bar received the opportunity to raise its status in the CCBE from an observer member to associate member status. This opens up new possibilities and access to more information regarding regulating the legal profession.

Integrating such an important institution as the Institute of Advocacy into the European Legal Community is essential for Ukraine. Building a solid institution to protect Ukraine’s human rights is a prerequisite for strengthening the rule of law. This is the condition the EU has set for Ukraine to grant membership.

The Ukrainian National Bar Association cooperates with European colleagues almost daily, informing them about the current state of the legal system in the country and the challenges facing the legal profession during the war.

It will be recalled that the CCBE provided significant charitable assistance to Ukrainian lawyers affected by the war and, having developed with UNBA, adopted the necessary recommendations to facilitate the access of Ukrainian advocates to the market of legal services in European countries.

Founded in 1960, the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) is an international non-profit association that, since its inception, has been at the forefront of promoting the views of European lawyers and protecting the legal principles on which democracy and the rule of law are based.






UK: How solicitors and firms are supporting displaced Ukrainian lawyers


Since the illegal invasion of Ukraine began, the solicitor profession has stood in solidarity with the country and its people. We brought together over 100 displaced Ukrainian lawyers and 24 major employers to create networking, employment and training opportunities.

Over 170 guests attended the job fair on 26 September, which aimed to support Ukrainian lawyers who have moved to the UK following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

Over 20 major employers, including Shell, Deutsche Bank, Dentons and LexisNexis, had the opportunity to promote a diverse range of roles and initiatives to more than 100 Ukrainian lawyers and collect applications for vacancies.

UK organisations also provided practical advice and guidance, helping lawyers to understand their options for employment and training.

“Today is an example of solidarity in action,” said chief executive of the Law Society, Ian Jeffrey.

“We have brought together law firms, in-house legal teams, legal service providers, recruitment agencies, training providers and English language schools that Ukrainian lawyers will be able to meet with.”

Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko, gave a powerful speech condemning Russia’s illegal invasion of his homeland.

He also highlighted the critical role of initiatives that address local problems experienced by Ukrainian refugees, including the search for employment and housing.





https://www.avocatparis.org/Solidarite-Ukraine (FRANCAIS)



USA: Ukrainian scholars and others finding a helping hand at University of Pittsburgh School of Law


Amid the Russian invasion, Pitt professors and programs are aiding Ukraine and Ukrainians in their efforts to continue their academic scholarship, prepare to rebuild their country and treat victims — particularly of trauma and its effects.

The School of Law, pointing to the many ways Russia has tried to use the law to confront Ukraine before and during the war, has brought eight Ukrainian law students here to the Center for International Legal Education (CILE) with full scholarships to earn their LLM (master of laws) degree. It is part of the school’s broader Ukrainian Legal Assistance Project, which is helping prepare these students — many of them already accomplished Ukrainian lawyers — to rebuild their country after the war and to connect them now with law firms and companies here for pro bono work that can help Ukraine today.

CILE Executive Director Charles T. Kotuby Jr. points out that the program already has experience bringing students here from Afghanistan with similar goals for their homeland.

“What we’re really trying to do is create the next generation of leaders” in Ukraine, Kotuby said. “The Ukrainian students — you cannot keep them here … They want to go back and rebuild the country.”

CILE has asked the Pittsburgh legal community and international businesses for help in taking on these students part-time while they are here, involving them in legal work today. “We’ve had a wonderful response,” Kotuby said. “They are a remarkable bunch of students.

One of them is Olha V. Tsyliuryk, who already has 13 years’ experience in the law. When the war hit, she was legal adviser to the mayor of Enerhodar, 420 miles from Kyiv. She is also an elected member of her district council and a university lecturer with her own law practice. Enerhodar is the site of the nuclear power plant currently under siege by the Russians.

When the war started, she drove to Warsaw and flew to Washington, D.C., where she quickly became involved in a project to deliver food to several Ukrainian districts and raise money for relief.

By July, she felt she could do more and decided to expand her legal know-how for the eventual reconstruction of her country. “It’s very important for me to obtain new experience and new skills,” Tsyliuryk said.

Her family, whom she has not seen in half a year, is still in Ukraine. “It’s very difficult and fearful for me,” she said. “I hope everything is over soon.”

In the meantime she says that lawyers with international experience will be crucial for making Ukraine safe for the investment needed to rebuild it, she said.



https://unba.org.ua/news/7601-zaproshuemo-advokativ-vzyati-uchast-u-blagodijnomu-turniri-zi-shvidkih-shahiv-na-pidtrimku-zsu.html (UKRAINIAN)



https://www.amnesty.be/veux-agir/agir-ligne/petitions/crimee-avocates (FRANCAIS – SIGNEZ LA PETITION!)

Noted Lawyer Charged Over His Stance On Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine


The chairman of the Attorneys’ Chamber in Russia’s Udmurtia region, Dmitry Talantov, has been accused of committing five crimes and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Pervy Otdel (The First Unit), a group that unites lawyers and right defenders, wrote on Telegram on September 14 that Talantov has been charged with the distribution of fake materials inciting political hatred and discord, and two counts of inciting hatred and discord using an official position.

Talantov was arrested in the Udmurt capital, Izhevsk, and sent to pretrial detention in Moscow in late June after he criticized the Russian government and military forces over a deadly strike on a shopping mall in the Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk.

He was initially charged with distributing false information about the Russian armed forces.

Earlier in April, Talantov, who has openly condemned Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, also harshly criticized Russia’s military for killing civilians in the Ukrainian towns and cities of Irpin, Bucha, and Mariupol.

Talantov was the lawyer for Ivan Safronov, a prominent former Russian journalist who was sentenced to 22 years in prison last week on a treason charge widely considered to be politically motivated.










https://desk-russie.eu/2022/08/17/fausse-informations.html (FRANCAIS)

European Lawyers’ Day 2022 is on 25 October


European Lawyers’ Day (ELD) 2022 takes place on 25 October, as part of the European Day of Justice.

It celebrates the common values of lawyers, and their intrinsic role in the defence and promotion of the rule of law, as well as their contribution to the justice system.

Run by the CCBE since 2014, the goal of ELD is to promote the rule of law, and the lawyer’s role in upholding legal principles for citizens.

Law in times of war

Following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February, the theme selected this year is ‘Making the law prevail in times of war – the role of lawyers’.

Lawyers play an important role in the context of war by assisting people fleeing conflict and in search of haven, the CCBE says.

European Lawyers’ Day amplifies the various initiatives taken by Bars and Law Societies, as well as lawyers and law firms, in reaction to humanitarian crises resulting from conflicts.

ELD also recognises how lawyers safeguard individual human rights, and how they represent victims of war in war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Information on events to mark the day will be available on the CCBE website.

The chair of the CCBE Criminal Law Committee Ondrej Laciak has also written an article entitled ‘Lawyers upholding justice in times of war’, to mark this year’s event.



Ukraine/Canada: From Kyiv to Ottawa: Olha Chernovol finds a new academic home


At the beginning of 2022, Olha Chernovol was a practicing lawyer in Ukraine, working at both COSA LLC as a Project Coordinator, and at an NGO – Transparent Democracy – as an Executive Director. Her time was spent dealing with a variety of projects related to anti-corruption, anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 changed her life and career plans.

While the invasion has upended the lives of countless individuals, Dr. Chernovol’s example is one of perseverance and resilience. She decided, in short order, to leave her motherland in March. Despite the tumultuous nature of her exit, she quickly made plans to continue pursuing her life’s work by taking up a position as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Ottawa, under the sponsorship of a leading expert in the fields of organizational criminal liability, and corporate accountability, Dr. Jennifer Quaid. The nature of Dr. Quaid’s work on anti-corruption and economic crime made this a perfect fit for Dr. Chernovol, whose experience with Transparent Democracy brings a valuable real-world perspective to Dr. Quaid’s research.

While the two researchers’ decision to work together was made easily, plans to bring Dr. Chernovol to Canada from Germany, where she was a refugee with little in the way of possessions or official documentation, would take a little longer. Fortunately, the pair was able to meet in person in Europe in the interim. Dr. Quaid, who was attending a workshop in Greece in late May organized for members of the Daughters of Themis: International Network of Female Business Scholarsnorth_eastexternal link, invited Dr. Chernovol to join her. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Chernovol was able to leave for Canada. After all the hurdles and emotional upheavals of 3 months alone in Europe, Dr. Chernovol has now found a new academic home for 2022 and 2023 at uOttawa’s dynamic Faculty of Law.




https://www.midilibre.fr/2022/08/24/nadia-avocate-ukrainienne-refugiee-a-sete-chaque-matin-je-regarde-si-ma-maison-a-ete-bombardee-10501933.php (FRANCAIS)