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Legal news in Ukraine: Law on State Language was approved, Code of Ukraine on Bankruptcy Procedures and the Law on Criminal Misdemeanors were published, the first Constitutional Court decision in the case of constitutional complaints

28.04.2019 / 12:54

Legal news in Ukraine: Law on State Language was approved, Code of Ukraine on Bankruptcy Procedures and the Law on Criminal Misdemeanors were published, the first Constitutional Court decision in the case of constitutional complaints

The Verkhovna Rada approved the Law on the State Ukrainian Language

The Verkhovna Rada approved the Law of Ukraine on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a state (No. 5670-d) on April 25, 2019.

Legislation was supported by 278 deputies.

It has been established that the only official language in Ukraine is the Ukrainian language.

The state status of the Ukrainian language is an inalienable element of the Ukraine constitutional system of as a unitary state.

Among other things, the law provides for the mandatory use of the Ukrainian language in the public space, communal sectors, transport, nutrition, medical, education, theatrical performances, cinematic dubbing, television, on the Internet, print media.

At the same time, the requirement does not apply to private communication and religious ceremonies.

Violation of language legislation will be punished with fines – relevant amendments made to the Code of Ukraine on administrative violations. For officials and civil servants there are fines of 200 to 400 tax-free minimum incomes (up to 6800 UAH), employees in the field of culture and education will pay from 200 to 300 minimum incomes (up to 5100 UAH), and journalists – from 400 to 500 tax-free minimums (up to 8500 UAH).

The state will organize courses of the Ukrainian language for adults and will provide the opportunity to learn the state language for citizens of Ukraine who did not have such a possibility.

Persons who want to acquire Ukrainian citizenship will pass a state language proficiency test. The scale of language skills is: the initial level A, the middle level B and the level of fluency in the language of C.

The requirements for the exam will be determined by the National Commission on State Language Standards. The National Commission will consist of 9 members, appointed and dismissed by the Government. Other powers of the Commission are: the approval of the Ukrainian language spelling and changes in it, Ukrainian terminology and standards for transcription and transliteration.

Military personnel, including foreigners and stateless persons, have the right to acquire Ukrainian citizenship without examination. However, they are required to learn the state language within one year.

The office of the Commissioner for the State Language Protection is also being introduced. This official, among other things, will consider complaints about non-compliance with the requirements of the law on the state language and fines violators.

Criminal Misdemeanor Act has been published

On April 24, 2019 the text of the Law of Ukraine «On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Concerning the Simplification of Pre-trial Investigation of Certain Categories of Criminal Offenses» was published in the newspaper «Voice of Ukraine».

The act was signed by President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko on April 19, 2019.

The law changes the classification of criminal offenses to criminal misdemeanors, minor, grave and especially grave crimes.

Criminal misdemeanor is defined as the act (action or failure to act), for which the main punishment is provided in the form of a fine – not more than three thousand non-taxable minimum incomes of citizens (51,000 UAH) or other punishment not related to deprivation of liberty.

Criminal misdemeanors include such common crimes as unskilled theft, fraud, illegal actions with narcotic drugs without the purpose of sale, hooliganism, and the like.

Driving a car in a state of intoxication will now also be a misdemeanor. For this, the driver will pay from 17 to 34 thousand UAH and he will be banned from driving for three years. For a repeated violation, the fine will amount to 51 thousand UAH, with a ban on driving a car from 2 to 3 years.

Detectives (officials of the National Police inquiry unit) will conduct investigations of criminal misdemeanors. Investigation will be conducted in the form of an inquiry with the simplification of the procedure, including shortened terms – no more than 72 hours from the moment the person is informed about the suspicion or detention, or in other cases for a period of up to one month.

The law enters into force on January 1, 2020, except for clause 2 of the section «Final and transitional provisions».

Code of Ukraine on bankruptcy proceedings entered into force

On April 21, 2019, the Code of Ukraine on bankruptcy proceedings entered into force. The Act will comes into effect six months after the date of entry into force.

The provisions, that are defining the creation of an electronic trading system and authorization of electronic platforms, shall be put into effect three months.

The code is presented in four books: the general part, the arbitration manager, the bankruptcy of legal entities, the restoration of the individual solvency.

The Code establishes the conditions and procedure for restoring the solvency of a debtor-legal entity or declaring it bankrupt and applying the liquidation procedure in order to fully or partially satisfy creditors’ claims.

The Code also resolves the issue of the individual borrowers’ insolvency, who, until now, have not had the opportunity to initiate and go through a bankruptcy procedure. From now on, a borrower who has fallen into a difficult financial situation can officially initiate his bankruptcy. It is important that only the borrower, not the lender, can initiate a bankruptcy claim.

The Constitutional Court approved the first decision on the case of constitutional complaints

The Constitutional Court of Ukraine decided on constitutional complaints regarding the constitutionality of the provisions of part three of Article 59 of the Law of Ukraine «On the Status and Social Protection of Citizens Affected by the Chernobyl Disaster» of February 28, 1991 No. 796-XII, as amended.

According to part three of Article 59 of the Law, for the persons who participated in the liquidation of the Chornobyl catastrophe consequences, during the actual lengthy service and consequently became persons with disabilities, the invalidity pension is calculated according to the Law or, at the request of such persons, from a fivefold size the minimum wage established by law on January 1 of the year.

By this Decision, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine declared that the phrase «valid urgent», which is contained in the Law, is unconstitutional.

«The military personnel, who suffered during the liquidation of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident’ consequences during the performance of military duty have different levels of social security. This legislator approach to the determination of the social security level of these persons’ categories does not comply with the principle of justice and is a violation of the constitutional principle of equality,» the court said.

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