Ukraine Bar Association opens to foreign members

By paying an annual €200 (£171) fee, the association says UK lawyers, and others, can apply to become international participants.

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The Ukrainian Bar Association (UBA) has opened its membership to foreign lawyers to raise new sources of income to support its work following Russia’s invasion.

By paying an annual €200 (£171) fee, the association says UK lawyers, and others, can apply to become international participants. International members will receive regular updates in English on UBA activities and documents, including those related to legal actions undertaken in support of Ukraine’s efforts to find legal redress against Russia, as well as access to information in sourcing referral work to Ukrainian lawyers and opportunities to find partners in Ukraine.

This could include work on establishing a special tribunal on crimes of aggression against Ukraine, collecting information for local lawyers on accommodation and job opportunities for Ukrainian lawyers abroad, and assist with submissions to the European Court of Human Rights and other institutions.

Membership would also allow free access to any UBA international conferences, and the opportunity to hold events and consult with UBA committees. It would also enable international lawyers to choose to cover membership fees for Ukrainian lawyers affected by the war, including those who had left the country as refugees, enabling the UBA to admit Ukrainian lawyers free of charge for the next membership year.

The UBA’s chief operating officer, Viktoriia Krasnova, said: 'By joining UBA and paying an annual fee. International participants will enable us to continue our mission, which is to resist the aggression against Ukraine on the legal front.'

Krasnova said that the war has had a severe impact on the association, as 'membership fees, conferences and partner contributions from law firms which used to form the UBA’s budget, now all ceased to exist'. The UBA, she said, 'has decided to adjust to this new reality, and to transform not only its objectives, now focused on resisting Russian aggression on the legal front, but also sources of funding and membership.'

Opening participation to foreign lawyers, she said, will not only keep the association solvent but might transform the UBA 'into something bigger'.

'Foreign participation would transform us into an international, multi-country community of lawyers with a stronger voice, speaking multiple languages,' while, in the long-term, having a positive impact on the development of Ukraine’s legal profession.