Pandemic and Legal Profession: Who Wins?

Sunday, April 12
17:30 - 18:30

Today the coronavirus pandemic tops the agenda for Russian advocates. Looming health risks, the lockdown adopted by roughly the entire global community, restricted mobility, changes in the operation of courts, detention centers, and other agencies and institutions dramatically impede legal practice and compel to step up due measures to adjust work and strike a fine balance.

Any imposed measures or constraints do not invalidate demands for professional legal aid guaranteed to citizens by the Constitution; conversely, they would expand the grounds to satisfy such demands. It is therefore critical for working advocates to strike a balance between such constitutional guarantees as the right to receive professional legal aid, on the one hand, and the right to life and health care, on the other hand, considering that those are fundamental and unalienable constitutional human rights, that cannot be restricted, including in public emergency.

However, by providing free legal aid as specified by agencies responsible for initial inquiries, investigative bodies, or courts, advocates and other parties to the legal process pose their health at risk, as well as the health of their families.

Meanwhile, due to changes in the operation of courts and self-isolation, advocates are now largely deprived of opportunities to continue their activity and earn their living.

These and other challenges encountered by advocates, as well as feasible responses will be addressed by the panelists of ‘Pandemic and Legal Profession: Who Wins?’ session.

Welcome Speech

Yuri Pilipenko

President, Russian Federal Bar Association


Anar Bagirov

Chairman, The Bar Association of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Simon Davis

President, The Law Society of England and Wales

* The Programme may be subject to change