Lawyers will not be able to represent the interests of conscripts under powers of attorney at military enlistment offices, according to amendments to the law “On Military Duty and Military Service” adopted by the State Duma.
In particular, the deputies edited the article on the pre-trial procedure for filing a complaint. Now a citizen or his “authorized representative” (lawyer) can appeal to the draft board, the amendments replace the latter with a “legal representative”.
The “legal representatives” include parents, guardians, adoptive parents, trustees of a minor or incapable person. The age of conscription begins at the age of 18. Thus, in accordance with the amendment, Russians who have received summonses will be able to interact with the military enlistment office on controversial issues only in person.
This confirms the lawyer of the law office KALOY.RU Alena Savelieva. “If we read the amendment literally, then in this case the right to legal assistance is certainly violated”, she told Lawyer Street.
However, according to Savelyeva, this does not mean that lawyers will not be able to work in military commissions at all. “First of all, we are talking specifically about complaints to the enlistment commission of the subject, not about visiting military enlistment offices. Such complaints are filed through “Gosuslugi” or sent by mail, without a personal visit. Secondly, I naively want to believe that this is a technical error”, she said.
Savelyeva suggested that “legal representatives” could mean close relatives. “Wives or mothers are often not asked for a power of attorney when filing complaints, for example, with the Defense Ministry. Perhaps they want to legalize this practice”, she added.
Savelieva also noted that the amendment does not deprive a conscript of the right to turn to a lawyer or attorney for help in preparing such a complaint, but he will have to send it to the draft board himself.
Evgeny Smirnov, a lawyer of the project “First Department”, believes that this norm “is primarily directed against lawyers without the status of a lawyer, representing the interests of a conscript by power of attorney – it is they who may be refused to be allowed into military recruitment commissions, as well as not to consider the merits of their complaints and applications”.
Another lawyer, Ivan Pavlov, agrees with Smirnov. According to him, the amendment “cannot abolish the right of a conscript to send a complaint through a lawyer”.
On July 25, the State Duma raised the draft age to 30, banned those who received summonses from traveling abroad and raised the fine for failure to appear at the military recruitment office 10 times – up to 30 thousand rubles.