PECO Profile: Russia

December 7th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Russia has a population of approximately 143.5 million and 75 000 lawyers – called ‘advocates’ (in 2015).  The Russian Federal Chamber of Lawyers was set up in 2003 and joined the CCBE in 2013.

The President of the Russian Federal Chamber of Lawyers, Yury Pilipenko

The President of the Russian Federal Chamber of Lawyers, Yury Pilipenko

Key information about the profession:

  • Initial training of lawyers: Law degree; Bar exam – at the end of a 1-year traineeship in a law firm (or for those who have 2 years of work experience in the legal domain).
  • Continuous training: Lawyers with less than 1 year experience: 30 hours of training; lawyers with more than 1 year experience – 20 hours annually or at least 100 hours in 5 years. Training is provided by the Chamber and private bodies with yearly control. Sanctions for non-performance – disbarment or suspending the advocate’s status.
  • Specialisation: no mandatory specialisation.
  • Discipline: the Qualification commissions at the regional bar chambers are in charge of disciplinary proceedings.
  • Legal Aid: is financed and organized by the State and the Bar and available for criminal and civil cases.

Current concerns of the Bar and main challenges in the coming years:

  • Merger of the legal profession
  • Achievement of high-quality measures applied at all stages of the criminal proceedings, strengthening professional guarantees for protection of lawyers’ rights
  • Maintaining high professional and ethical standards for advocates. Consistent and effective application of disciplinary system against advocates who violate the Advocates’ Code of Professional Ethics
  • Anti-corruption measures against so-called “pocket lawyers”, especially in outlying regions
  • Reform of the legal services market
  • Main challenge: reform of the Russian legal services market under the“Justice” National Programme. There are a large number of so-called “unregulated” legal professionals, non-advocates, that exist outside of the legal framework. This lack of regulation can have a negative impact on:
    • professional ethical standards,
    • quality of legal assistance,
    • protection of trial rights,
    • access to justice,
    • implementation of the Rule of law principle.