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Legal news in Ukraine: changes to the Criminal Code, judges qualification assessment, the Code of Ukraine on bankruptcy procedures, legalization of self-construction, court fees in consumer rights cases, Interregional court forum

24.03.2018 / 11:00

Legal news in Ukraine: changes to the Criminal Code, judges qualification assessment, the Code of Ukraine on bankruptcy procedures, legalization of self-construction, court fees in consumer rights cases, Interregional court forum

Verkhovna Rada partially revoked the changes to the Criminal Code, which came into force on March, 15

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted amendments to the Criminal Code, partially repealing the rules that came into force on March 15, 2018.

The law amended articles 132, 184, 234 of the Criminal Code, which excludes the provision that filing a petition for the application of measures for ensuring criminal proceedings, conducting a search or selecting preventive measures, the appointment of an examination is carried out solely on the basis of a decision of the investigating judge and submitted to the local the general court, within the territorial jurisdiction of which is the (registered) body of pre-trial investigation as a legal entity.

Pursuant to the Final and Transitional Provisions, petitions of investigators, prosecutors regarding the application of provision of criminal proceedings or searches submitted to the relevant courts before the entry into force of this Law are considered in the manner in force prior to the entry into force of this Law.

This means that only those pre-trial investigation bodies that are in the territorial jurisdiction of the Shevchenkivsky district of the city of Kyiv will apply to the Shevchenkivsky district court of Kyiv after the relevant amendments have come into force.

After the law came into force, investigators from all districts of the city of Kyiv and the Kyiv region will apply to such local tribunals.

The first thousand of judges completed the qualification exams

The first group with a total number of 988 judges of local and appellate courts completed passing the exam under the qualification assessment for the compliance to the position of a judge.

Exams for the first group of judges lasted from February 14 till March 15, and for that period of time were passed by 942 out of 988 judges,

402 judges from local courts, and 540 judges from appellate courts.

Among judges of local courts, the exam was passed by: 291 judges of general courts; 55 judges of commercial courts; 56 judges of district administrative courts.

Among judges of appellate courts, the exam was passed by: 392 judges of general courts; 35 judges of commercial courts; 113 judges of administrative courts.

46 judges who did not appear for the exam based on valid reasons will pass exams later.

The Commission has already determined the results of the examination for 332 judges. 5 out of them did not pass the exam (one judge of the commercial court of appeal and four appellate court judges). All others were admitted to the next stages of the assessment – interviews and studying of judicial dossiers, which have began on March, 23.

The next group of 1790 judges began to pass exam on February 22, 2018. Previously, 500 judges have already passed the qualification assessment, so now it should be passed by another portion of 5200 judges from all over Ukraine. The Commission plans to complete the qualification assessment of all judges by the end of current year.

The bankruptcy procedure is regulated by the new code

The draft Code of Ukraine on bankruptcy has been adopted on the first reading. The Code proposes to establish the conditions and procedure for restoring solvency of a debtor-legal entity or recognizing it as a bankrupt and applying a liquidation procedure in order to fully or partially meet the claims of creditors, as well as to restore solvency of an individual.

In its part of corporate bankruptcy reforming, the paper, among other things, proposes:

To eliminate unnecessary barriers and simplify access to the procedures, in particular, the debtor himself,

To increase opportunities for readjustment and create effective mechanisms for out-of-court settlements,

To exclude all provisions that may be considered as grounds for exemption from debts, except in cases where the creditors agree,

To merge an amicable agreement and readjustment into a single procedure,

To improve terms of participation of secured creditors in bankruptcy procedures,

To increase level of protection of the rights of all creditors,

To shorten terms for judicial trials,

To ensure stability of the auctioned contracts.

The paper also proposes to improve the stand of secured creditors in bankruptcy procedures, in particular :

sale of bankrupt's property exclusively at an electronic auction through a clear integrated system,

obligatory negotiations with secured creditors on starting prices of the property, lots composition, auction step (step of bid), ad text, cost of retention, storage and expenses for the sale of mortgaged property,

price reduction at the first re-auction is possible only with the consent of the secured creditor,

in case of winning an auction, the secured creditor settles accounts for the property purchased by way of a netting, paying only the difference between the price and the amount of claims, etc.

Introducing the tools for restoration of solvency of individuals, the Code proposes to create a separate regulation system for specific legal relations linked to the need of solving the problem of excessive indebtedness of an individual. According to the draft bill, cases of bankruptcy of an individual should be considered by the economic court at the place of residence of the individual, which will make it possible to provide a convenient and professional consideration of such a specific category of cases.

The Code proposes introduction of two types of the procedures - judicial and pre-trial one, which will give the participants more room to choose the best form of debt settlements.   There are two judicial procedures: restructuring debts of debtors and satisfying claims of creditors. Amicable agreement, as per the document, is an institution of procedural law, the purpose of which is to terminate the trial by way of reaching an agreement between the parties to the case. Participation of an arbitrator in a bankruptcy proceeding is compulsory.

Verkhovna Rada allowed to legalize self-assemblies built before April 2015

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Law "On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine "On Regulation of Urban Development "regarding the extension of the acceptance period for construction projects constructed without permission for construction work".

The law states that the state architectural and construction control body is free of charge within 10 working days from the date of submission of the application by the owners (users) of the land plots where the construction objects are located, which, according to the class of consequences (liability), belongs to objects with minor consequences ( СС1), built on a land plot of the appropriate purpose without a permit document for the execution of construction works, according to the results of the technical survey takes into operation:

built from August 5, 1992 to April 9, 2015, individual (mansion) houses, garden, country houses with a total area of ​​up to 300 square meters, as well as household (private) buildings and structures with a total area of ​​up to 300 square meters;

built up to March 12, 2011 buildings and structures for agricultural purposes.

Corresponding changes are introduced into Section V "Final Provisions" of the Law of Ukraine "On Regulation of Urban Development".

At the moment, the Law provides that the legalization of their built houses, utility buildings, and annexes could be until December 31, 2015.

Supreme Court about court fee in consumer protection cases

The Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court ruled that it recognized that the claimants in cases concerning the protection of their rights as consumers were exempted from payment of court fees in accordance with the Law of Ukraine "On Protection of Consumer Rights" not only in the court of first instance.

The absence of the Law of Ukraine "On Court Fee" among the persons who are exempted from payment of this fee, the categories of consumers, can not mean that the latter do not have the specified privilege, since such is established by a special consumer law.

Moreover, the Law "On Court Fees" did not abolish the relevant privilege in the Law "On Protection of Consumer Rights", but introduced changes to it. This Parliament has witnessed the preservation of benefits to consumers for the payment of court fees for claims related to violation of their rights.

Consequently, the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court departed from the legal position expressed by the Supreme Court of Ukraine in 2017 in cases No. 6-185ts17 and No. 6-916ts17, according to which the consumer was exempted from payment of the court fee only at the time of filing a statement of claim and had to pay such a charge for submission to the court, in particular, the appeal.

The Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court stressed that the violated consumer rights could be protected not only in the court of first instance, but also in courts of other instances, the consideration of which is part of a single civil process.

The Interregional Court Forum was held

On March, 19, the Interregional forum "The High Qualifications Commission of Judges: Staff Resolves Everything!" was held in Pidhirtsi, Kyiv region.

The first session of the forum was devoted to the Commission's tender procedures. In particular, the commission members named the five main commission staff procedures this year, namely: the second competition to the Supreme Court, a competition to the Anti-corruption court, a competition to the High court on intellectual property, selection of judges, qualification judges.

It was also a question of a competition to the High court of intellectual property, namely, that the candidates who participated in the contest to the Supreme Court submitted applications to the IP-court and a qualification assessment was conducted within this competition. Therefore, in front of the Commission, the question was: Do these judges need to re-qualify within the competition to the IP- court.

In the end, the Commission decided to allow all candidates who participated in the contest for judges in the Armed Forces to contest. In this case, their results of the competition to the Sun will not be taken into account.

The second session of the forum was devoted to the evaluation of judges. The discussion focused on regular and qualification assessments, the interaction of courts with the media and the Concept of direct ties with the public.

The third session of the forum was devoted to the personnel reserve of the judiciary: issues of internship in courts, the legal status of an assistant in court, training of judges and internship in bodies of judicial self-government were considered.

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