MOSCOW, September 2 (RAPSI) – A bill on criminal punishment for obstruction of practice of law is aimed to protect rights and interests of the clients of attorneys, believes practice of Vice-President of the Russian Federal Chamber of Lawyers Gennady Sharov.

Sharov called the legislative proposal a good and long-expected initiative for the attorneys’ community, a statement of the Federal Chamber of Lawyers reads.

On Tuesday, the bill to impose criminal liability for obstructing legal profession was published on the website of draft laws and regulations. Amendments are proposed to Russia’s Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code.

According to the initiative, criminal responsibility is fixed for any interference with legal activities of attorneys with an aim to prevent exercise of their professional powers as provided by the Federal law "On Legal Practice and Advocacy in the Russian Federation" if such intervention resulted in serious prejudicing rights and legal interests of citizens, organizations, society or state, according to the Chamber.

The draft law in particular envisages punishment of up to community service for a term of up to 1 year. A more serious crime with the use of force may lead to imprisonment for up to 5 years.