19 April 2023
by Karinna Moskalenko, lawyer, member of the Moscow Helsinki Group
Source: Moscow Helsinki Group
What is wrong with the Integrated Information System of the Russian Bar and why I tend to see it as a ‘digital concentration camp.’
Some think of this system as cutting edge and feel relaxed (or don’t think at all) about the fact that sensitive information can, and most likely will, be unprotected.
And some think this system is technically imperfect and legally flawed given the lack of security of attorney-client privilege.
So, if every lawyer were able to choose whether to participate in this system or abstain from joining it, if there were freedom of choice, it would be possible to accept its existence.
However, the government by agreement with the Federal Chamber of Advocates, having paid Sberbank some exorbitant price for this system (long live anti-corruption mechanisms!) wants to force ALL lawyers and their clients into these barracks. And that’s something fundamentally different. This is why the government, conspiring with the Chamber, are rushing to enshrine in law the REQUIREMENT for every lawyer to be part of this system. This amounts to something of a ‘digital concentration camp.’ And these are positively illegal attempts, which must be stopped immediately. This obligation to FORCE every lawyer to be included in a digital information system violates the constitutionally guaranteed right to defence and the basic UN principles of the legal profession.
The All-Russian Congress of Lawyers is approaching, and if participants do not raise the criticism the bill with its abhorrent rules deserves, they would be directly betraying the legal profession.
This unprecedented attack on the bar and the slide toward ultimate totalitarianism must be stopped immediately!
Translated by Nina dePalma