Ukrainian law

Legal news in Ukraine: contest for the Supreme Court and the Anticorruption court, legislation on a single social contribution will change, new case of the Constitutional Court, the results of national polls on trust in judges, new types of e-visas

18.11.2018 / 11:25
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Legal news in Ukraine: contest for the Supreme Court and the Anticorruption court, legislation on a single social contribution will change, new case of the Constitutional Court, the results of national polls on trust in judges, new types of e-visas

Candidates for the Supreme and Anticorruption Courts have written a qualification

Candidates for the positions of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Anticorruption Court judges have written a qualification exam.

Candidates wrote anonymous written tests on November 12, a practical task – on November 14.

As a result of testing, participation in the contest to the Supreme Court continues for:

Cassation Administrative Court – 104 candidates for 26 vacancies;

Cassation Economic Court – 64 candidates for 16 vacancies;

Cassation Criminal Court – 54 candidates for 13 vacancies;

Cassation Civil Court – 95 candidates for 23 vacancies.

108 candidates to the Supreme Anticorruption Court will fight for 27 vacancies and 48 candidates to the Appeals Chamber of the Court – for 12 vacant posts.

Candidates who will successfully write a practical assignment will continue to participate in the competition. To do this, you need to score 60 or more from 120 points. Three people will apply for one place.

It should also be noted that The High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine announced on August 2, 2018, the second competition to the Supreme Court and competition to the Supreme Anticorruption Court and the Appeals Chamber of the Supreme Anticorruption Court. The winners will be determined in early 2019.

The government approved bill on single social contribution

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved a bill on increasing from January 1, 2019 the base of the calculation of a single social contribution from 15 to 25 minimum wages (from 55 845, 5 to 104 325 UAH).

The Ministry of Social Policy proposes to establish a regressive scale for contributions for wages or income that exceeds the maximum value.

There are benefits for people with disabilities within three minimum wages.

It is proposed to establish a payroll system, which introduces the principles of differentiation. In particular, they plan to introduce the differentiation of wages depending on the complexity, qualification level, conditions of the performed work, the degree of responsibility, professional, business qualities of the employee, the results of work and the economic activity of the enterprise, institution, organization.

It is planned to increase the responsibility for non-payment of obligatory payments to the pension fund and funds of compulsory state social insurance. The document stipulates that the debtors temporarily (before returning a debt) will be banned from leaving Ukraine, driving or hunting.

The Constitutional Court verifies the constitutionality of changes to the procedural codes

On November 15, the Grand Chamber of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, in the open part of the plenary session in the form of oral proceedings, considered the case on the constitutional petition of 54 people's deputies of Ukraine regarding the compliance of paragraph 4 of § 2 of the Constitution of Ukraine «Final Provisions» of Section 4 of the Law of Ukraine «On Amendments to the Commercial Procedural Code of Ukraine, The Civil Procedural Code of Ukraine, the Code of Administrative Legal Proceedings of Ukraine and other legislative acts» of October 3, 2017, No. 2147-VIII.

According to these norms, subparagraphs 11-27, 45, paragraph 7, paragraph 1 of this section are enforced three months after the entry into force of the Law, have no retroactive effect in time and apply to cases where information about a criminal offense, entered into the Uniform Register of pre-trial investigations after the introduction of these changes.

The constitutional submission states that during the adoption of the Law the procedure for its adoption was violated. Among other things, the «procedure for preliminary consideration of draft laws of Ukraine», as well as the requirements for the personal voting of people’s deputies, is not observed, which contradicts Articles 6, 8, 19, 83, 84, 89, 91 of the Constitution of Ukraine.

In addition, the constitutional petition states that § 4 § 2 «Final Provisions» section 4 of the Act is contrary to Articles 21, 24, 58, 63 of the Constitution of Ukraine, because «violates the right to retroactive force of criminal law». Also the prohibition of use of criminal procedural law to cases in which information about criminal offenses included in the Unified register of pre-trial investigation into the introduction of the changes introduced by the law violates the right of a suspect and an accused to defense and equality of rights.

Also, the prohibition to apply the norms of criminal procedural law to cases in which information about a criminal offense entered into the Unified Register of Pre-Trial Investigations prior to the introduction of the changes introduced by the Law violates the right of the suspect to protection and equality in the rights of citizens.

The results of national studies on trust in the judiciary

«USAID»’s New Justice Program has carried out another round of national polls of Ukrainian people and lawyers who are parties to court proceedings but do not work in the judiciary.

According to surveys, public confidence in the judiciary has shown a marked increase in recent years: 16% of respondents from a nationwide population survey have recognized that they trust the judiciary. In 2015 this marker was 5%.

21% of respondents expressed the position of neutral perception of the judiciary, choosing the answer «I trust and do not trust», and 59% of respondents acknowledged that they rather do not trust or do not trust the judiciary at all.

The level of lawyers’ trust in the judiciary has increased from 38% in 2017 to 41% in 2018. Meanwhile, 47% of lawyers have shown confidence in individual courts, where they represent the parties.

16% of respondents in the national population survey admitted themselves fully or basically aware of the judicial reform’ course, but this indicator increased significantly compared with 2017, when it was only 9%.

64% of the polled lawyers support the creation of a new Supreme Court instead of the old and the high specialized courts, 78% congratulate the possibility of applying for the position of the Supreme Court and the Anticorruption Court judges. 52% congratulate the same opportunities for scientists. Another 63% of lawyers support the power of the courts to exercise control over the enforcement of court decisions, and 51% – cancellation of the institution of the judge’s first appointment for 5 years. In general, the opinions on certain provisions of judicial reform has not changed compared with 2017.

The trust in the judiciary of Ukrainians who participated in court sessions is twice as high as in general for Ukrainians who mostly receive information on judicial power from the news. In the course of four years, the confidence of Ukrainian participants in court proceedings also has a tendency to increase – from 16% in 2015 to 34% in 2018.

60% of citizens, participants in court proceedings, agree that the level of judges’ qualification was proper, 63% – that the judges were polite and tacit. In addition, 59% of them admitted that the work of the court was well-organized, and 53% of the cases were heard promptly and without delays. 54% of the participants in the trials agreed that there were no requirements for bribes and other corruption practices, and 44% – that judges made fair decisions. For the most part, these indicators show some positive trends, since in 2017 they were markedly lower.

The perception of professional lawyers in the Ukrainian judicial system is somewhat different from their perception of the specific courts’ work, where they represent the parties. 48% of the polled lawyers believe that information about court proceedings and the course of the case is accessible and understandable for citizens. 46% of lawyers believe that the level of professional qualifications of judges in general in Ukraine is proper, 29% consider that judges always accept legitimate and fair decisions, and 20% believe that Ukrainian citizens trust the courts.

Summing up their personal impressions of court proceedings over the past 12 months, 61% of lawyers who are parties to court proceedings consider that the level of professional qualifications of judges is proper, while 53% believe that judges make legal and just judgments. 70% admit that judges were polite and correct with all parties to court proceedings, and 71% admitted that there were no demands for bribes, unofficial payments, or other forms of corruption. By the way, these indicators show some negative tendencies, since in 2017 they were markedly higher.

New types of e-visas have been introduced in Ukraine

The Cabinet of Ministers approved amendments to the Rules for issuing visas for entry into Ukraine and transit through its territory. This is stipulated by the decree of the Government dated November 14, 2018, No. 954.

According to the document, new procedures will be introduced from January 1, 2019.

Foreigners will no longer be able to obtain tourist and business visas at border crossing points at Boryspil, Kyiv (Zhulyany) and Odessa international airports. After April 2018, electronic visas are issued to them by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Also, the cost of electronic visas will increase from 65 to 85 dollars.

In addition, the list of grounds for issuing an e-Visa is expanding. Foreigners will be able to obtain an e-visa for travel to Ukraine for private purposes, for treatment, conducting activities in the field of culture, science, education, sports, as well as journalism.

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