In the cases considered by the Anti-Corruption Court, there have been repeated non-appearances at court hearings by lawyers and the accused. This is a systemic problem that was discovered during the monitoring of the work of the HACC for April-July 2021 by TI Ukraine lawyers.

They attended 349 court hearings and determined that 135 of them were postponed: 66 — due to the non-appearance of the lawyer, 31 — due to the non-appearance of the accused, and only 19 — due to the non-appearance of the prosecution. The most creative reasons were:

  •  appearance of the accused under the influence of alcohol;
  •  lawyer’s leave even if the hearing date is agreed upon in advance;
  •  non-appearance without explanation.

It is worth noting that not so much the court and prosecutors should be interested in the speed of justice, but rather the accused and their lawyer. Proving the client’s innocence, removing the unpleasant status of a suspect from them is the main task of the defense party in the process.

Moreover, it is upsetting that lawyers neglect not only the fate of their clients, but also their reputation, violating the norms of lawyer ethics.

Such irresponsible behavior of lawyers causes confusion on the part of the observer, and the court has only one measure of influence — to discipline them with a fine.

In particular, on October 19, 2021, the panel of judges of the Anti-Corruption Court imposed a fine of about UAH 5,000 on two defendants of the Kraian plant case — Oleksii Spektor and Volodymyr Radionov, as well as on two lawyers, Mykhailo Korotiuk and Serhii Lysenko. By the way, they also skipped the previous court hearing.

A similar situation also occurred on October 19 in the “gas case” of ex-MP Onyshchenko, where the lawyers did not appear at the hearing.

 

Such irresponsible behavior of lawyers causes confusion on the part of the observer, and the court has only one measure of influence — to discipline them with a fine.