MOSCOW, December 21 (RAPSI) - Russia’s Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights has recommended the State Duma to reject a bill setting standard requirements for lawyers admitted to practice in Russian courts, the advisory body’s website reads.

The Council adopted the relevant decision on Thursday. Human rights advocates believe that the concept of the bill submitted by Pavel Krasheninnikov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on State Building and Legislation, to the lower house of Russia’s parliament, is out of keeping with the constitutional provisions on people’s rights to legal aid.

Barring of individuals without higher legal education from delivering legal services may deprive low-income population categories including refuges, disabled persons, emigrants and others, of the opportunity to receive legal aid.

According to the Human Rights Council, clients have a right to choose their representatives by themselves, by appraising their qualifications and expertise, and requesting degree certificates and professional documents
Krasheninnikov submitted the bill on litigation guardians to the parliament’s lower house in September.

Under the bill, lawyers should have Russian legal degrees to represent other persons or companies in civil, administrative and commercial proceedings.

Foreign attorneys would be admitted to practice in Russian courts if they take professional examination in legal profession at the all-Russian association of lawyers. Exceptions to this are representatives at law, the bill reads.

Currently, legal representation may be provided by individuals without professional education, according to Krasheninnikov.

The bill would facilitate the enforcement of rights of persons and companies to competent legal assistance and would have a positive impact on the judicial system, the initiative’s author believes.