Maryna Kavaleuskaya Discusses Experience Practicing Law in Belarus in

"Why Attorneys in Belarus Live in the Atmosphere of Fear"


Maryna Kavaleuskaya was interviewed by, a media outlet in her native Belarus, regarding her experience practicing law in Belarus under the pressure of the authorities and her thoughts on the independence of legal profession. Kavaleuskaya left Belarus in 2012 and received her LL.M from Harvard Law School in 2013. "At that time [2011], the legal community enabled the government to unlawfully expel from the Bar my colleagues who worked on politically-motivated matters, and the Bar lost its independence for good," she said. "The essence of the attorney's work is to represent the interests of the client in accordance with the law and the rules of ethics, and not pursuant to the recommendations or demands of colleagues or authorities. I had a choice," she added, "to work independently, as a lawyer must, and to risk my professional future, or to be guided by the 'advice' of the Bar's leadership and the authorities in defiance of my legal and ethical obligations. It does not matter if you are a government official, a civil society or opposition activist, or a businessman, the right to receive independent legal counsel is one of your essential rights," she said. 

This article was originally published in Russian. Click here to view the original post in Russian.