Ukrainian lawyers optimistic about professional recognition in Ireland

Ukrainian lawyers optimistic about professional recognition in Ireland

Ukrainian lawyers have expressed optimism that Ireland will follow England and Wales in introducing a streamlined process to allow them to qualify and practise as lawyers in the State.

The Ukrainian National Bar Association (UNBA) said the matter is currently being considered by the Department of Justice, the Law Society of Ireland and the Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA) after representations from the UNBA and the Association of Ukrainian Lawyers of Ireland (AULI).

A working meeting earlier this month was attended by UNBA vice-president Dr Valentyn Gvozdiy, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys and two AULI members, Vasyl Selifonov and Anna Bazarchyna BL.

In England and Wales, qualified Ukrainian lawyers are exempt from completing the SQE2 exam, the second of two exams required for qualification as a solicitor. A number of other jurisdictions have also simplified the process of qualification for Ukrainian colleagues.

In a statement, the UNBA said it believes, in light of the decision in England and Wales, that there is a “high probability of implementing agreements on the introduction of simplified conditions for access to the labour market in Ireland as well”.

The meeting also discussed the Ukraine Solidarity Bill, a private members’ bill proposed by Jim O’Callaghan which would, among other things, require the Irish government to review the issue of professional recognition for Ukrainian lawyers, doctors and accountants, among other professions.

AULI said: “While legislative support from the Irish government may ultimately be required, it’s reassuring to know that the UNBA is fully committed to assisting us in this endeavour. Together, we can make a difference and foster stronger ties between Ukrainian and Irish legal professionals.”

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