Interference with the activities of a defense counsel or representative of a person: criminal law and criminology dimension.
The article analyzes the criminal law and criminological characteristics of the criminal offense under Article 397 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The author notes that this criminal offense has a complex structure of the direct object, since interference with the activities of a defense counsel impedes not only the exercise of a person’s right to defense, but also the right to legal aid, and on this basis the author suggests that the direct object of interference with the activities of a defense counsel should be social relations which exist in connection with the activities, performance of duties and ensuring the rights and legitimate interests of certain subjects.
The author points out that from the objective side, the criminal offense under study is expressed in any form of interference with the lawful activities of a defense counsel or a person’s representative in providing legal aid or violation of the guarantees of their activities and professional secrecy established by law. It is assumed that this encroachment is possible only in the case of an intentional form of guilt with the aim of obstructing, changing or terminating the provision of legal aid, and this direction of criminalized activity is the purpose of this offense.
The article analyzes certain official statistics on criminal offenses in the area of interference with the activities of a defense counsel, attorney or representative of a person and the results of their investigation, which determine the existence of problems in this area for the period from 2015 to June 2023 includive. It is proven that the mechanism for protecting the professional activity of defenders (lawyers) in Ukraine is ineffective, which significantly reduces the possibilities for effective protection of the rights and freedoms of citizens and public interests. The identified issues require larger-scale scientific research with appropriate justification and the development of more effective mechanisms to protect the activities of defenders (lawyers) and representatives of the person.