Ukrainian law

Legal news in Ukraine: congress of judges, qualification assessment for judges, improvement of changes to the Criminal Code, amendments to the process of individual income of the people, decision of the ECHR in a case against Ukraine

10.03.2018 / 11:08
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Legal news in Ukraine: congress of judges, qualification assessment for judges, improvement of changes to the Criminal Code, amendments to the process of individual income of the people, decision of the ECHR in a case against Ukraine

The Congress of Judges elected members of the High Council of Justice, High Qualifications Commission of Judges and the Council of Judges of Ukraine

From the 5th to the 7th of March, the fifteenth regular congress of judges of Ukraine was held, at which judges elected members to the High Council of Justice, the High Qualifications Commission of Judges and a new members of the Council of Judges of Ukraine.

Delegates of the Congress actively, until late, worked two days - on March 5 and 6.

On March 5, delegates elected Stepan Gladjay, a judge of the Kyiv Appellate Court, as a member of the High Qualifications Commission of Judges.

Also, the majority of the members were elected to the Council of Judges of Ukraine, namely 29 members. Members of the Council of Judges became 4 judges under the quota of the Supreme Court, with 11 local judges on the quota of local general courts.

According to the quota of courts of appeal on consideration of civil, criminal cases, and cases on administrative offenses, four judges became members of the Council of Judges, according to the quota of local appellate, appellate administrative and economic appellations - two judges and the quota of local economic courts - 4 judges.

The next day, March 6, the congress elected two more members of the Council of Judges of Ukraine on the quota of local administrative courts. Also elected a new head of the Council of Judges of Ukraine - a judge of the Supreme Court Oleg Tkachuk. Thus, 31 of the 33 members were elected to the Council of Judges. Two more members - from the High Court of Intellectual Property and the Supreme Anticorruption Court - are part of the Council of Judges by law, but judges of these courts have not yet been elected.

Also on March 6, the members of the Supreme Council of Justice passed a vote. The congress of judges was to fill four vacant posts in the High Council of Justice at its quota, but only two could be elected: Larysa Shvetsova, a judge of the Kharkiv Regional Court of Appeal, and Volodymyr Govorukh, a judge of the Kyiv Regional Court of Appeal.

In the High Council of Justice vacancies left two posts. Delegates of the congress failed to elect a member of the High Council of Justice from administrative justice and to remove one member from the judges of local general courts and retired judges.

In the second round of the secret ballot for candidates for the GRP, four bidders with the largest number of votes were put into the ballot.

Thus, the two posts of the members of the High Council of Justice remain vacant until the next congress of judges of Ukraine.

High Qualifications Commission of Judges conducts qualification assessment of judges

On February 14, the 999 judges of local and appellate courts began their qualification assessment, which should be completed on March 15.

According to the information of High Qualifications Commission of Judges, as of March 7, 771 judges wrote anonymous written tests and practical tasks. In addition, the High Qualifications Commission of Judges approved the results of the qualifying examinations, which judges were examed 14, 19, 20 and 22 February, for a total of 236 judges.

After the examination, the judges are waiting for interviews based on the results of the investigation of judge files - as of March 7, interviews were conducted for 265 judges.

The High Qualifications Commission of Judges appointed a qualification assessment for compliance with the post for the next group - 1784 judges, which should begin on March 14.

The qualification assessment procedure introduced in the framework of judicial reform is mandatory for all 5,700 local and appellate court judges. During the initial qualification assessment in 2016 and the Supreme Court in 2017, 500 judges have passed the qualifying examination, and therefore, another 5,200 judges must pass it.

The Law on Liability for Suicide has come into force

On March 7, the Law of Ukraine No. 2292-VIII "On Amendments to Article 120 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine on the Establishment of Criminal Responsibility for the Assistance to Suicide" came into force.

Changes to the Criminal Code establish criminal responsibility for any assistance to a person in committing a suicide or attempted suicide.

The law provides for the first part of Article 120 "Conduct to suicide" of the Criminal Code of Ukraine in a new wording, according to which bringing a person to suicide or attempt to suicide, which is the result of cruel treatment, blackmail, systematic humiliation of his human dignity or systematic unlawful coercion to actions that contradict her will, suicidal tendencies, and other actions contributing to committing a suicide, shall be punishable by restraint of liberty for a term up to three years or imprisonment for the same term.

It is worth noting that Ukraine is among the top ten countries with the highest suicide rate. According to the WHO data for 2012, about 10 thousand suicides were committed in Ukraine, and the average indicator for our country is 22 suicides per 100 thousand people. According to scientific sources, the ratio of suicides and suicides is about one to twenty. At the same time, from 2010 to 2015 in Ukraine only four sentences were imposed for suicide, that is, less than one sentence per year, because law enforcement officers usually cease suicide proceedings without finding traces of violence on the body of the victims.

The government changed the order of indexation of incomes

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine by its resolution of February 28, 2018, No. 141, introduced amendments to the Procedure for Indexation of Monetary Income. The above Procedure is brought in line with the Law of Ukraine "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Pension Revenues".

Indexes are subject to cash income of citizens received in hryvnias on the territory of Ukraine, which do not have one-time character: pensions; scholarships; wages and salaries of employees of enterprises, institutions, organizations in monetary terms, which includes wages for the work performed in accordance with the tariff rates (salaries) and piece rates, surcharges, allowances, bonuses, guarantee and compensatory payments provided for by law, as well as other compensatory payments , of a permanent nature; monetary support for servicemen, policemen, persons of ordinary and commanding personnel, customs officials; the amount of alimony determined by the court in a solid monetary amount; unemployment benefit provided in accordance with the law on compulsory state social insurance against unemployment; the amount of compensation for damage caused to a physical person by injury or other damage to health, as well as the amount paid to persons entitled to compensation in case of loss of breadwinner, except for monthly insurance payments to victims of work (including allowances for the necessary care for the victim ) and members of their families.

The indexation of pensions is carried out by increasing them in accordance with the legislation on compulsory state pension insurance.

The indexation of insurance payments from work accidents and occupational diseases that caused disability is carried out through their increase in accordance with the law on compulsory state social insurance.

The sum of the indexation of pensions and monthly insurance payments to victims at work (including allowances for the necessary care for the victims) and their family members, if they are raised, are calculated as the difference between the amount of indexation determined before October 11, 2017 and the sum of increase of these payments to full repayment of the indexation amount.

Indexes are subject to cash incomes of the population within the subsistence minimum established for the relevant social and demographic groups.

The payment of labor, including working pensioners, the money security, the amount of alimony, determined by the court in a solid monetary amount, unemployment benefit, which is provided depending on the insurance experience, as a percentage of the average wage, the scholarships are indexed within the subsistence minimum established for able-bodied persons.

Part of the monetary income that exceeds the subsistence minimum established for the relevant social and demographic groups of the population is not subject to indexation.

In case of untimely payment of the amounts of indexation of cash incomes, their compensation is made in accordance with the legislation.

In case of increase of tariff rates (salaries), scholarships, payments made in accordance with the legislation on compulsory state social insurance, the value of the consumer price index in the month in which the increase takes place is accepted at 1 or 100 per cent.

The amount of indexation in the month of increase in cash income is not charged if the size of the increase in cash income exceeds the amount of indexation in the month of increase in income.

ECHR has decided to pay 8200 euros to Ukrainians detained for contempt of the court

European Court of Human Rights came to the side of Olena Mikhailova in the case No. 10644/08 Mikhailova v. Ukraine.

The applicant, Olena Mikhaylova, is a Ukrainian national who was born in 1957 and lives in Nova Kakhovka (Ukraine). The case concerned her conviction for contempt of court.

Ms Mikhaylova, who is not a lawyer, was involved in litigation with the local municipal utilities company either as a party or as a representative. On 1 June 2007, at a preliminary hearing in a case concerning utilities arrears, she challenged the presiding judge’s impartiality and told her, among other things, that “I know of no case where you have given a lawful decision” and “the law will mean absolutely nothing to you”.

The presiding judge adjourned the hearing and, within the next hour, an administrative offence report was drawn up for contempt of court, the case was transmitted to another judge and a hearing was held. Having examined Ms Mikhaylova and the evidence in the report, the judge found her guilty as charged and sentenced her to five days’ administrative detention, which she served immediately.

Ms Mikhaylova made a number of complaints, in particular under Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (b) (right to a fair trial). She complained, inter alia, that there had been no party for the prosecution at the hearing on her case, meaning that the judge who had convicted her for contempt of court had to assume this role, thus undermining her impartiality. She further alleged that she had not been given time to prepare her defence.

She also complained under Article 10 (freedom of expression) that sentencing her to detention had been excessive and had breached her freedom of expression. Lastly, relying on Article 2 of Protocol No. 7 (right of appeal in criminal matters), she complained that Ukrainian law had not provided for a right of appeal in administrative-offence proceedings.

 

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