The president of the Law Society, I. Stephanie Boyce, has issued a statement condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, offering the Law Society’s support to its members in the region and describing Russia’s actions as a “direct threat to the rule of law”.
“The Law Society stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, the Ukrainian National Bar Association and the Ukrainian Bar Association. We also stand with the Russian people who oppose their government’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, and lawyers who are defending the rule of law in the region.
We condemn the actions of the Russian Federation, which are in contravention of international law. There is no doubt that these actions are a direct threat to the rule of law.
We continue to support our members in the region at this difficult time.”
There are reportedly “relatively few UK lawyers or firms based in the affected regions“, but several firms have offices in the capital, Kyiv. According to The Gazzette, CMS Cameron McKenna has 40 domestic and internationally qualified lawyers in its Kyiv office, while Baker McKenzie and Dentons also operate from the country. The Law Society’s statement indicates that they will be offering their support to any of its members in the region.
Boyce’s sentiment was echoed by Sternford Moyo, president of the International Bar Association:
“This act by President Putin is a watershed moment that indisputably violates international law. Member states of the United Nations have, since 1945, agreed that territory should only change hands by consent. This rule is at the centre of maintaining international law and order between states.”