Moscow Bar Association: law firm websites not obliged to use "foreign agent" designations
MOSCOW, July 23 (RAPSI) — Websites of law firms cannot be defined as a mass media outlets, so they have no obligation to use the "foreign agent" designation to label foreign-funded organisations that are engaged in political activity, according to the decision of the Moscow Bar Association.
The decision was passed as a result of its examination of the incident, where a lower bar association in Moscow posted on its website information its president was trained in a non-profit organization entered in December 2016 in the register of NGOs performing the functions of a foreign agent; among other things, the publication included the certificate of this organization, as well as information about its activities.
However, there was no indication that these data and materials were created and disseminated by a Russian legal entity acting as a foreign agent.
Considering the disciplinary proceedings against the president of this lawyer organization, the Moscow Bar Association Council pointed out that the bar association is not included in the list of registered media outlets, whereas an analysis of its website, the nature of the information published, and other evidence resulted in a finding that it could not be defined as a mass media outlet focused on the periodic dissemination of mass information, the statement reads.
The Council concluded that the specified information was not posted for the purpose of disseminating any information about the non-profit organization registered as a foreign agent, but in order to inform potential clients about the specialization of the lawyer, his professional achievements and qualifications.
Therefore, the Council of the Moscow Bar Association terminated disciplinary proceedings against the president of the said association.