The President of Azerbaijan signed laws on amending the Law on Lawyers and Lawyer Activities, the Civil Procedure Code and the Administrative Procedure Code. The amendments come into force on January 1, 2018.
The essence of the innovations is actually the liquidation of the institution of representation in courts. Citizens will be represented in courts only by professional lawyers – members of the Bar Association. Close relatives of individuals can make an exception. Legal entities will be represented in courts only by their full-time lawyers.
These amendments have caused criticism by the legal community and civil society, for in the conditions when there are just over 900 lawyers for 10 million inhabitants of Azerbaijan, the liquidation of the legal representation institution will leave the citizens without legal defense.