The monthly newsletter of the Centre of Policy and Legal Reform is devoted to the analysis of the state reform, in particular in the areas of parliamentarism and elections, constitutional and judicial reform, civil service, anti-corruption, etc.
The purpose of the publication is to raise the awareness among citizens and to strengthen their ability to influence the state authorities in order to accelerate democratic reforms and establish proper governance in Ukraine.
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Newsletter №15/2019 (January-February)
- Ukraine incorporates Euro-Atlantic integration in the Constitution as a vision of its development
- Constitutional Court has started consideration of the case regarding (un)constitutionality of the e-declaration for activists
- Unconstitutional selection of candidates for the position of the Constitutional Court judge in the Parliament may be canceled only by the Constitutional Court itself
- How will the public administration reform be implemented in the future?
- Doubtful re-marriage
- New OpenSpace instead of decentralizing SRCSA services
- Competitions to the High Anticorruption Court and the Supreme Court have reached the final stage
- Announcement on the establishment and operation of the Unified Judicial Information and Telecommunication System (UJITS) has been withdrawn
- Amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine regarding the official video recording of court proceedings have entered into force
- Congresses of scientists and advocates took place to elect new members of the High Council of Justice and the High Qualifications Commission of Judges of Ukraine
HONEST LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES
- Centre of Policy and Legal Reform presented a study "Disciplinary Responsibility of Prosecutors in Ukraine"
- Constitutional Court has abolished criminal responsibility for illegal enrichment
- Experts presented a Shadow Report on the Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Implementation of the State Anti-Corruption Policy in 2017-2018.
- Financing of political parties: we can control
- In Odessa, the methodology of teaching constitutional law in Ukraine has been discussed
- Ternopil activists are interested in the Constitution
- Analysts unite their efforts
- Integration of administrative services: we share experiences and seek new practices
Summary of the month
Since February 21, the European and Euro-Atlantic courses of Ukraine have been incorporated at the constitutional level and become mandatory for the authorities. Actual effect of the new European integration provisions depends on legal activities of public authorities.The practice will show how the new authorities will be excersized and how the European and Euro-Atlantic courses of Ukraine will be implemented.
On February 7, 2019, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted for amending the Constitution of Ukraine (regarding the strategic course of the state on acquiring full-fledged membership of Ukraine in the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization). The purpose of the proposed amendments, as stated in the Explanatory Note, is the legislative consolidation in the Constitution of the civilizational choice, the European identity of the Ukrainian people and the irreversibility of the strategic course of the state towards the full membership of Ukraine in the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Constitutional amendments came into force on February 21, 2019, the day after their official publication.
What has changed?
Principal amendments to the Constitution concerned the Preamble and the powers of the Verkhovna Rada, the President and the Cabinet of Ministers. Thus, the Preamble of the Constitution in the context of Euro-Atlantic integration should have the following wording: "The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on behalf of the Ukrainian people – ... with a view of strengthening of civil accord in the land of Ukraine, and confirming the European identity of the Ukrainian people and the irreversibility of the European and Euro-Atlantic course of Ukraine ... adopts this Constitution as the Basic Law of Ukraine."
The new power of the Verkhovna Rada has been added: "Definition of the principles of internal and foreign policy, implementation of the strategic course of the state on acquiring full-fledged membership of Ukraine in the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization" and the new power of the Cabinet of Ministers: "ensures implementation of the strategic course of the state on acquiring full-fledged membership of Ukraine in the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization". In accordance with the adopted amendments, the President of Ukraine became the guarantor of the implementation of the strategic course of the state on acquiring Ukraine's full membership in the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Additionally, the provisions of paragraph 14 of the Transitional Provisions, which stipulate the use of existing military bases on the territory of Ukraine for the temporary stay of foreign military formations under the lease terms in accordance with international agreements, have been eliminated from the Constitution of Ukraine.
So today, the European and Euro-Atlantic courses of Ukraine are incorporated at the level of the Constitution and become mandatory for the authorities.
Starting from now, mandatory amendments to the Constitution will be necessary in order to change the Euro-Atlantic state course of Ukraine, since the higher authorities are limited by constitutional powers that directly established the European and Euro-Atlantic courses of Ukraine. However, as Julia Kyrychenko said, “actual effect of the new European integration provisions depends on the legal activities of public authorities. Therefore, the practice will show how the new powers will be exercised and how the European and Euro-Atlantic courses of Ukraine will be implemented”.
Constitutional Court has started consideration of the case regarding (un)constitutionality of the e-declaration for activists
After the amendments to the Law "On Prevention of Corruption" were adopted, the activists carrying out anticorruption activities turned into subjects of declaration and became obliged to submit declarations in accordance with Article 46 of this Law. Despite the calls from international community, the parliamentarians did not cancel these amendments.
The new rules of electronic declaration are contrary to the fundamental rights and freedoms stipulated in the Constitution of Ukraine: equality before the law, non-discrimination, non-interference in private life, and prohibition of restrictions on the rights to participate in a public organization. Innovation also provides that the activists are become subject to of administrative and criminal responsibility. Politically motivated persecution of individual activists may become an undesirable consequence of such legislative changes.
Therefore, in the summer of 2018, the Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Human Rights filed a petition to the Constitutional Court regarding the unconstitutionality of the electronic declaration for activists.
Another petition, initiated by the experts of the CPLR and the RPR, was supported by 65 deputies and was also filed with the CCU.
The CCU in its turn opened the constitutional proceeding in both cases, and subsequently merged the two proceedings into one. By doing this, the CCU made it clear for the public that it will not leave this issue aside.
However, the CCU decided to consider the case in writing. Such a decision makes it impossible to hear the legislator's arguments about the expediency of introducing electronic declaration for activists, and the CCU, in turn, will not be able to hear the public's opinion on this issue.
On February 14, the first meeting took place, where materials of the case were heard. The next review is scheduled for March 12 in the format of a closed meeting.
We are concerned about the fact that the CCU is in no hurry to consider the issue of the constitutionality of the electronic declaration for activists, while instead focuses attention on illegal enrichment, recognizing the relevant provision of the Criminal Code of Ukraine unconstitutional.
The CPLR experts hope that the CCU will release the activists from the unconstitutional obligation and adopt a fair decision by April 1, 2019 – the deadline for the submission of declarations by activists for 2018.
Unconstitutional selection of candidates for the position of the Constitutional Court judge in the Parliament may be canceled only by the Constitutional Court itself
People's deputies addressed the Constitutional Court of Ukraine with a request to actually defend their independence – to recognize unconstitutional the mandatory political support in the Parliament of candidates for the position of the CCU judge. Thus, the Parliament has approved unconstitutional amendments to Article 208-4 of the Rules of Procedure, which established that "the right to submit a proposal regarding a candidate for a position of a judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine may be implemented by a parliamentary faction (deputy group), a group of non-factional MPs in a number not less than the quantitative composition of the smallest deputy group." These proposals are submitted to the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Legal Policy and Justice. Back in the autumn of 2017, the Parliament adopted a decision that candidates cannot independently nominate themselves for a competitive selection. Nevertheless, this is contrary to Article 148 of the Constitution of Ukraine, which established the competitive selection of candidates for the position of the CCU judge.
However, unexpectedly, the Third Collegium of the First Senate of the Constitutional Court refused to open the constitutional proceeding in a case under the constitutional petition of 47 MPs on the compliance with the constitution of Ukraine (constitutionality) of the provisions of the second sentence of the first paragraph of part three, second paragraph of part three, part four of Article 208-4 of the Law of Ukraine "On the Rules of Pocedure of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine" dated February 10, 2010 No. 1861-VI.
In the opinion of the Third Collegium of the First Senate of the Constitutional Court, the opening of constitutional proceedings should be declined because of the lack of evidence as to the unconstitutionality of political support of candidates for the position of the CCU judge.
However, the constitutional petition contains evidence of the unconstitutionality of political support of candidates for the position of the CCU judge. New constitutional provisions of Article 148 of the Constitution clearly stipulate that the selection of candidates for the position of the CCU judge is carried out on a competitive basis and it is obvious that the requirement established in the Rules of Procedure of the VRU on the political support of future CCU judges does not comply with the new constitutional provisions.
The final decision on whether to open or not to open proceedings should be approved by the Grand Chamber of the CCU.
On January 24, the Grand Chamber was considering this issue, but the decision has not been adopted. The CCU suspended its consideration, since it never came to the agenda of the CCU during February.
This case in its essence is a matter of the CCU's desire to protect itself from unconstitutional provisions that adversely affect its independence.
We call on the CCU to take a well-grounded position and consider the issue of unconstitutionality of Art. 208-4 of the Rules of Procedure and not refuse to defend its independence.
Summary of the month
At the beginning of the year, a new version of the Public Administration Reform Strategy of Ukraine (the Strategy) and changes to the Concept for Optimization of the System of Central Executive Bodies (the Concept) have been published. In addition, the Government established a Strategic Committee composed of all government officials to formulate and discuss key policy issues and strategic plans.
How will the public administration reform be implemented in the future?
Reforming public administration and, in particular, the system of central executive bodies will be further implemented in line with new Government documents prepared in the light of the recommendations of the Support for Improvement of Governance and Management (SIGMA) Program.
CPLR experts joined the discussion of the new version of the Strategy and changes to the Concept. Unlike the previous version of the Strategy, the new one takes into account the reform results already achieved in each of the following areas: formation and coordination of state policy; modernization of the civil service and human resources management; ensuring accountability of public administration bodies; provision of administrative services; management of public finances. Terms of implementation of the Strategy are extended until 2021. Further progress in achieving the planned outcomes of the reform will be determined using appropriate indicators for 2019, 2020, and 2021.
Importance of the new version is that it takes into account the European standards of due administration, as formulated in SIGMA document "Public Administration Principles". The Strategy's structure complies with these Principles and defines the basic requirements for the system of public administration. Draft version of the Strategy was prepared before the SIGMA assessment of the public administration system; therefore, it did not take into account a number of important issues and did not contain performance indicators. At the same time, the disadvantage of a new version of the Strategy is that it pays much attention to the results already achieved and the current state of affairs, although it should mainly determine the strategic directions of the reform.
As regards the changes introduced to the Concept, they also take into account the results of the SIGMA assessment and identify a number of problematic issues that need to be addressed, but were not referred to in the Concept.
The purpose of the newly created Strategic Committee is to formulate public policy, approve priority reforms, approve political proposals of the ministers. Strategic Committee will deal with the most important issues of public policy and discuss policy documents.
In the opinion of the CPLR experts, adoption of the new version of the Strategy and changes to the Concept confirms the authorities' desire to continue the public administration reform. Activities of the Strategic Committee will facilitate the implementation of such areas of reform as the formation and coordination of state policy and ensuring accountability of public authorities. However, some experts are skeptical about the idea of creating a Strategic Committee, believing that it can not be an effective instrument for coordinating the Government's policy decisions.
Summary of the month
The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine keeps introducing "innovations" in the area of administrative services while their legitimacy is questionable. In January, it launched a "re-marriage" service, which contradicts both the Family Code of Ukraine and the Law "On State Registration of Civil Status Acts". This creates the risk of invalidation of such "marriages". In addition, the Ministry of Justice keeps opening OpenSpace offices, which are supposed to provide only its own civil registration services. At the same time, the draft law No. 6150 on the decentralization of these services has no progress in the Parliament. Such a policy of the Ministry of Justice returns us to the past times, when citizens used to turn to separate institutions for various services and had to stand in different lines to get them. Consequently, budget funds are spent inefficiently, and the Action Plan for the implementation of the Public Administration Reform Strategy for 2016-2020 is not implemented.
In January 2019, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine decided once again to surprise everyone with its "innovations". Iryna Dubykivska, Head of Division of the State Registration of Civil Status Acts (SRCSA) of the Ministry of Justice, informed that starting from now Ukrainians can recall the past times and hold the marriage anniversary ceremony again. During the ceremony, the couples will again be presented with a marriage certificate, however, with the mark "repeatedly". According to the Ministry’s official, it will be possible to celebrate the anniversary of marriage by ordering such a re-ceemony in any SRCSA office.
It is worth reminding that before that, the Ministry of Justice introduced a "know-how" – "marriage in one day" as a pilot project. Innovation provides that the state registration of the marriage is made on the date determined by the applicants, including the date of submission of the relevant application. Fees for such a service can vary from UAH 4,809 to UAH 11,773. Consequently, "re-marriage" is a follow-up of the saga of innovations from the Ministry of Justice.
It should be noted that such experiments are at least surprising. After all, the Ministry, which should take care of observance of the law in Ukraine, on the contrary, violates the legislative acts in the area of state registration of civil status acts. Since the law has a prevailing legal force, the by-laws should not contradict it. Thus, neither the Family Code of Ukraine nor the Law "On State Registration of Civil Status Acts" do not provide for the possibility of registration of a marriage on the day of filing an application. According to these legislative acts, the state registration of marriage is made after the expiration of one month from the date of the application by an engaged couple. Only in the case of a valid reason, the head of the SRCSA office allows the registration of marriage before the expiration of this term. In addition, these legislative acts do not provide for such services as "repeated marriage", in the absence of divorce.
In summary, it's time for the Ministry of Justice to cease engaging in questionable experiments and earning on fake paid services, and instead to pay attention to real reforms that have been waiting for a long time (such as the decentralization of SRCSA services, budget decentralization of proceeds from issuing extracts from the registers of the Ministry of Justice)
"Such innovations of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine as "marriage in one day" and "repeated marriage" raise doubts about their legality. It also poses a threat to citizens, because such marriages have the risks to be recognized as invalid, but registered in violation of the effective laws. Therefore, I urge the Ministry of Justice to return to the legal framework"? – said Yevhen Shkolny, the CPLR expert.
New OpenSpace instead of decentralizing SRCSA services
On February 11, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine of was proud to announce on its website about the opening of the 27th OpenSpace European Center. The news reports that the Deputy Justice Minister Iryna Sadovska has opened the 27th OpenSpace Center on the basis of the Korosten Municipal Office of the SRCSA. According to the official, this year the Ministry plans to open fifty such centers throughout Ukraine. Consequently, the Ministry of Justice does not think too much about the decentralization of civil registration services, but instead builds its own plans for the massive opening of its departmental offices.
This situation seems unacceptable, as the Action Plan for the implementation of the Public Administration Reform Strategy for 2016-2020 stipulates that the law on decentralization of civil acts registration services should have been adopted as far back as in the 4th quarter of 2017, and the Ministry of Justice was responsible for this. It is worth recalling that the relevant draft law No 6150 was registered by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in February 2017. Since then, no progress has been made on its adoption. Several times it was placed on the agenda, but never reached the consideration. The Ministry of Justice verbally supports the draft law, but its policies and actions point to the contrary.
"The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine should stop spending budget funds on its own departmental offices. SRCSA services should be provided in conjunction with other services in the centers of provision of administrative services. So, after registering a marriage you can simultaneously order a new passport, register a new place of residence, etc. Services related to the birth of a child are also integrated. The Ministry of Justice needs to stop these cheap PR-actions and do a useful thing", – said Viktor Tymoshchuk, the CPLR expert.
It should be reminded that today the area of SRCSA in rural communities is traditionally the responsibility of local self-government bodies. Instead, in cities and towns (district centers) it falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine. Now, this state of affairs also hinders the process of joining communities to the cities of oblast significance. In the case of decentralization of these services, everyone could get them in the executive bodies of the local council (usually in the CPAS). It would bring SRCSA services closer to citizens and make them more convenient.
Summary of the month
In January-February, the most interesting stage of the competitive selection to the High Anticorruption Court and the Supreme Court – interviews with candidates – took place. The process of changing the composition of the High Council of Justice, the powers of the majority of which members expire in 2019, continued. In addition, in the beginning of the year, amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine came into force, which introduced a complete video recording of the court proceedings. Instead, the launch of the Unified Judicial Information and Telecommunication System, including the Electronic Court subsystem, is postponed for an idefinite period.
Competitions to the High Anticorruption Court and the Supreme Court have reached the final stage
In January-February, interviews were held with candidates for the position of judges of the High Anticorruption Court and the Supreme Court.
Within the framework of the competitive selection to the High Anticorruption Court, 71 candidates for 41 vacant positions (12 thereof in the Appeals Chamber) have been interviewed.
It should be reminded that prior to interviews with candidates to the High Anticorruption Court, the Public Council of International Experts had taken some steps. Based on the examination, the international experts have got questions to 46 candidates, and 39 thereof stopped participating in the competition following the results of joint meetings of the Public Council of International Experts and the High Qualifications Commission of Judges.
Within the framework of the competition to the Supreme Court, the HQCJ jointly with the Public Council of Integrity interviewed 235 candidates. 46 of them did not confirm their ability to administer justice (37 thereof were found unable based on the conclusions of the PCI). At the same time, 31 candidates with a conclusion of the PCI continued to participate in the competition. Consequently, the ranking for 78 vacant positions in the Supreme Court will be formed out of 189 candidates.
According to Maxym Sereda, the CPLR expert and the member of the PCI, "the model of involving international experts directly to the decision-making turned out to be more successful than the model with the recommendations of the Public Council of Integrity, which the High Qualifications Commission of Judges could easily ignore depending on the personalities. Unfortunately, the risk of entry to the Supreme Court of corrupt and dependent candidates is much greater than to the High Anti-corruption Court, which decisions will not be final, and will be appealable to the Supreme Court."
Announcement on the establishment and operation of the Unified Judicial Information and Telecommunication System (UJITS) has been withdrawn
On February 28, the High Council of Justice invited the State Judicial Administration to withdraw the announcement on the creation of the UJITS, which was made public on December 1, 2018. On the same day, the SJA decided to withdraw the official announcement on the launch of the UJITS, explaining this decision by numerous complaints from users and the need to adjust the system.
According to Roman Kuibida, the CPLR expert, "no publication on the "withdrawal" made after the entry into force of the law will have legal consequences. Announcement on the launch of the electronic system has already been made on December 1 last year. 90 days after this fact the law comes into effect. Moreover, this fact can not be changed by any unforeseen "withdrawal". Decision of the SJA is a very dangerous precedent that will create a situation of legal uncertainty."
Amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine regarding the official video recording of court proceedings have entered into force
On January 1, amendments to Part 5 of the Article 27 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine regarding video recording of court proceedings came into force. Consequently, in accordance with new provisions, full recording of the court session and procedural actions with the help of sound and video recording equipment is ensured during the trial, and in the cases specified by the CPC, during the pre-trial investigation.
Despite the fact that this innovation contributes to the greater transparency of the criminal process, experts argue that preparatory work on the introduction of the new practice has been failed.
According to Oleksandr Banchuk, the CPLR expert, "currently the courts are not ready to enforce the new legislation. They have lack of equipped premises, trained personnel and necessary software."
Congresses of scientists and advocates took place to elect new members of the High Council of Justice and the High Qualifications Commission of Judges of Ukraine
On February 18, a Congress of Advocates of Ukraine was held, which re-elected to the High Council of Justice the current members of the Council Oleksii Malovatsky and Pavlo Grechkivsky. It should be reminded that these members were chosen repeatedly despite the legislative prohibition to occupy this post. In the opinion of Andriy Boiko, member of the HCJ, "there are no legal grounds for being elected a member of the HCJ again. At the time of our appointment, the Law "On the Judicial System and Status of Judges" provided that members of the High Council of Justice should be elected for only one four-year term."
In addition, the Congress of Advocates of Ukraine decided to dismiss Pavlo Lutsyuk, a member of the High Qualifications Commission of Judges of Ukraine, and appoint Oleksandr Drozdov to replace him. However, Pavlo Lutsyuk managed to suspend the decision of the Congress of Advocates of Ukraine on his dismissal by securing the claim.
According to journalists, such a result of the Congress was predictable even beforehand. As a result, the advocates elected candidates close to the leadership of the National Association of Advocates of Ukraine and the President of Ukraine.
On February 28, a Congress of representatives of legal educational institutions and scientific institutions was convened to elect two members of the HCJ. There was a discussion between the participants of the Congress about the possibility for the representatives of the departmental educational institutions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to participate in the congress in view of the legislative prohibition for representatives of higher military educational institutions to participate in the Congress. As a result, the Congress announced a break until March 14.
It should be reminded that the powers of the majority of the HCJ members will expire in 2019. Thus, in April, the powers of Ihor Benedysiuk, Mykola Husak and Tetyana Malashenkova, appointed by the President of Ukraine, Andriy Boyko and Anatoliy Miroshnichenko, elected by the Congress of representatives of legal educational institutions and scientific institutions, Viktor Komkov and Vadym Nezhur, appointed by the All-Ukrainian Conference of Prosecutor's Officers, will expire; in May there will be termination of powers for Iryna Mamontova and Oleksiy Malovatsky elected by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, in June – for Vadym Belyanevych and Pavlo Grechkivsky, elected by the Congress of Advocates of Ukraine.
Roman Kuibida, the CPLR expert stated: "Events related to the formation of the new HCJ structure show that this body will not become independent and focused on change. It seems that most of the actors involved in its formation see the HCJ only as an instrument of influence on judges. Obviously, the procedure for the formation of this body should be changed, even if it will require changes to the Constitution."
HONEST LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES
Summary of the month
The Law on Enforcement of Criminal Responsibility for Domestic Violence and Sexual Crime, as well as the Law on Combating Bullying (baiting) in educational institutions, the provisions of which are actively discussed by Ukrainian society, have come into force. Criminal legislation of Ukraine is brought in conformity with the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence.
Centre of Policy and Legal Reform presented a study "Disciplinary Responsibility of Prosecutors in Ukraine"
On January 29, at the round table the CPLR experts presented a study on the practice of bringing prosecutors to disciplinary responsibility by the Qualification Disciplinary Commission of Prosecutors during 2017-2018. This publication was prepared with the support of the Council of Europe and the European Union.
Separate sections of the Report describe the standards of disciplinary responsibility of prosecutors, examine the grounds for opening and refusal to open disciplinary proceedings, describe the procedure for the implementation and closure of disciplinary proceedings. Particular attention is paid to the types of disciplinary offenses of prosecutors, the most frequently recorded offences during the time of investigation and, accordingly, description of the practice of imposing disciplinary penalties for them.
Members of the QDCP, representatives of the QDCP Secretariat, the General Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine, the High Council of Justice, the Council of Prosecutors, lawyers, scientists, and international experts participated in the discussion of the conclusions and recommendations of the study.
General conclusion of the study: since the provisions of the Law "On the Prosecutor's Office" on disciplinary proceedings came into effect in 2017, prosecutors became more protected from unlawful disciplinary prosecution and dismissal. Activity of the QDCP on the consideration of disciplinary proceedings in general is based on the requirements of the law, tends to be consistent and predictable. On the other hand, the experts noted the absence of a consistent practice of considering disciplinary proceedings, the lack of open access to the decisions of the QDCP members on the refusal to open proceedings, the lack of rules for the admissibility of evidence and the lack of attention of the QDCP to the general preventive activities of prosecutors.
The QDCP has taken into account a significant number of the report recommendations and is trying to implement them in its activities. The process of changes can be followed on the QDCP site https://www.kdkp.gov.ua/.
Summary of the month
The main event of the month is the abolition of criminal responsibility for illegal enrichment. The idea of criminalizing this action is laid down in Article 20 of the UN Convention against Corruption, ratified by Ukraine.
Constitutional Court has abolished criminal responsibility for illegal enrichment
On February 26, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, by its decision, abolished Article 368-2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, which established criminal responsibility for illegal enrichment.
The decision of the Constitutional Court states that the wording of Article 368-2 of the Criminal Code, which established criminal responsibility for illegal enrichment, contradicts the principle of presumption of innocence of a person, violates the right of a person to not testify against him-/herself, and the article itself, in the opinion of the CCU judges, does not correspond to the principle of legal certainty.
Experts of the CPLR are convinced that there were no grounds to declare this article unconstitutional. Such a conclusion was provided earlier upon the request of the reporting judge of the CCU in this case. A similar opinion was expressed by experts involved in the EU Anti-Corruption Initiative in Ukraine. The procedure for investigation of crimes, including the crime of illegal enrichment, is determined by the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine, which does not include any special procedures for criminal cases against illegal enrichment, and therefore the burden of proving the guilt of a person lies solely with the prosecution side; a person has the right to remain silent and not to testify against him-/herself, but retains the right to provide appropriate and admissible evidence in his-/her defense.
Now it is necessary to amend the Criminal Code by proposing a new version of this article, which, on the one hand, would be as close as possible to the international standard, and on the other hand, would be in conformity with the Constitution and the decision of the CCU. In addition, due attention should be paid to the possibility of confiscation of public servants’ assets, the legality of which sources is not proved by evidence, within the framework of civil proceedings.
Experts presented a Shadow Report on the Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Implementation of the State Anti-Corruption Policy in 2017-2018.
On February 26, the CPLR presented a Shadow Report on the Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Implementation of the State Anti-Corruption Policy in 2017-2018, which identified the main achievements and problems of the last two years, outlined the main conclusions and provided recommendations to special authorized anti-corruption agencies and other stakeholders regarding the implementation of anti-corruption measures in the future. The experts from the CPLR, non-governmental organizations “TI Ukraine”, “Statewatch” and independent experts jointly prepared the report. Shadow report was prepared with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation.
The report was supposed to be an alternative to the report that should be annually prepared by the National Agency for Corruption Prevention and approved by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. However, such an annual report was never approved; therefore, the Shadow Report has actually become a single integrated analytical paper on the state of anti-corruption policy.
The report was prepared based on a specially developed methodology for a comprehensive internal assessment of the country's progress in the field of anti-corruption, which was first used in the preparation of a similar Report in 2015 in four areas: anti-corruption policy; prevention of corruption; criminalization of corruption and law enforcement activities; international cooperation. Current report is the third edition, prepared by the experts with the use of this methodology.
In addition, we have prepared an infographics on the basis of a shadow report, that illustrates its individual provisions or aggregates information. The infographics is available on the website of the CPLR http://pravo.org.ua.
·Realization of the State Program for the Implementation of Anticorruption Strategy for 2015-2017
·Implementation of anticorruption provisions of program documents of the Government
·Corruption: perception and image
·What are we combating and labyrinths of competences
·How many corrupt officials have actually been punished?
Summary of the month
In January and February, experts from the UPLAN Public Law and Administration Network learned to control political finance, communicate the constitutional reform; found out how the modern CPASs work and participated in the Sixth Annual Conference of Analytical Centers.
Financing of political parties: we can control
In January and February, public activists, members of the UPLAN Public Law and Administration Network and journalists discovered some knowledge about the implementation of political finance reform and learned to control spending by political parties at the trainings in Odesa, Lviv, Kharkiv and Dnipro. The practical part of the trainings was devoted to "reading" reports and useful life hacks, and participants could test their knowledge during a brain ring.
In Odesa, the methodology of teaching constitutional law in Ukraine has been discussed
Teachers of Ukrainian universities, as well as the experts from UPLAN network and the CPLR discussed the system of teaching constitutional law on February 18 in Odessa. As a result, participants of the round table decided to set up a working group for the development of general methodological recommendations on teaching of the constitutional disciplines.
Ternopil activists are interested in the Constitution
The CPLR experts Julia Kyrychenko and Bohdan Bondarenko conducted a training "Communication of the Constitutional Reform" in Ternopil. Participants of the event learned about the significance of the Constitution for the life of society and the processes of constitutional change. The experts discussed with the participants the main problems of the constitutional reform and speculated on how and why they should be communicated.
Analysts unite their efforts
During the Sixth Annual Conference of Analytical Centers, the leaders of the CPLR and the Kharkiv organization "ExpertiZA Reform" signed a Memorandum of Cooperation in the frames of the UPLAN Network. Earlier, in January, experts from the Kyiv organization "Monitoring Center of the Authorities" joined the Network.
Ihor Koliushko, Head of the Board of the CPLR during his speech at the conference referred to the importance of networking: "We are trying to build a permanent platform – the UPLAN Civil Network of Public Law and Administration – for experts working in our areas".
Integration of administrative services: we share experiences and seek new practices
During a training session for representatives of the CPASs in Kyiv, Oleg Konotoptsev, an expert of the Foundation for Local Democracy and the UPLAN Network, shared the experience of integrating administrative services with the CPASs by using the example of the "Regional Service Center" in Kharkiv. Chrystyna Tybinka, an expert from the Lviv Center for Local Self-Government Studies presented the results of survey of 16 CPASs throughout Ukraine during 2017-2018.
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Shadow report on evaluating the effectiveness of state anticorruption policy implementation
M. Khavronyuk, О. Kalitenko, D. Kalmykov, I. Koliushko, O. Lemenov, B. Malyshev, A. Marchuk, R. Sivers, V. Tymoshchuk
Report provides a comprehensive internal independent assessment of the actual state of corruption in Ukraine and the measures taken by the state to combat it, and on this basis, conclusions were drawn about the effectiveness of the measures and recommendations made.
Disciplinary responsibility of prosecutors in Ukraine
O. Banchuk, M. Kameniev, Y. Krapyvin, B. Malyshev, V. Petrakovsky, M. Tsapok
The research is dedicated to the study of the practice of bringing the prosecutors to disciplinary responsibility by the Qualifications and Disciplinary Commission of Prosecutors during 2017–2018.
Monitoring Report on the Implementation in 2017-2018 of the Public Administration Reform Strategy of Ukraine for 2016-2020
The report analyzes the implementation in 2017-2018 of each of the directions of the Public Administration Reform Strategy of Ukraine for 2016-2020, identifies both achievements and shortcomings in the process of its implementation. Additionally, the publication contains recommendations on the intensification or optimization of public administration reform areas.
Mechanisms and challenges of integration of basic administrative services to CPAS
V. Tymoshchuk, Y. Shkolny
Publication describes the most topical problems faced by the CPASs while introducing new services, all possible and the most effective ways of their integration and separate best practices of the CPASs, which have already reached the status of the “supermarket of services”.
All publications in electronic format can be downloaded at the website of the Centre of Policy and Legal Refom: http://pravo.org.ua/ua/about/books/
Presentation of the research on "Judicial System" in selected regions of the East of Ukraine" (date to be specified)
Presentation of the manual "Funding of the parties: who, to whom and how?" (date to be specified)
Round table "Ensuring the independence of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine: necessary steps" (March 18, Kyiv)
Seminar "How to write a complaint against the prosecutor to the Qualification Disciplinary Commission of Prosecutors" (March 22, Lviv)