11 February 2011

Eastern Europe - Ukraine - 2011

Next month the BBCU will be holding a meeting to discuss the 'Rule of Law' in Ukraine.
Should be an interesting meeting.
Currently in Ukraine we are experiencing a situation where the 'Rule of Law' appears to be translated in any language by the government as 'Do what we say, as we are in control'.

Many people in business are just too afraid to openly say what they think or even just explain what they have observed with their own eyes.

The recent 'raid' by state prosecutors with armed men on the law firm of Magisters in Kyiv as reported by the Kyiv Post (see: http://www.kyivpost.com/news/nation/detail/96884/)
is an example of what is currently going on in Ukraine in early 2011.

What if Magisters had been a foreign law firm based in Ukraine like Baker & McKenzie or Clifford Chance? Would the state prosecutors have sent in armed men to 'raid' the offices and keep the staff waiting in the offices for 12 hours without access to communications? Maybe.

The major concern here is that Ukrainian authorities consider it normal and acceptable to conduct armed raids on the offices of law firms to look for and take away any documents or digital information they want.

Lets be honest and open here. Lets pose the question "Do state prosecutors in Western European countries send in armed men to raid local law firms?"

Many could claim that due to the fact that Magisters is a law firm that was acting on behalf of the previous government, they had some information that the current government just had to get.

A very strange way for the 'Rule of Law' to operate in Ukraine.

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