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Ukrainian law

Legal news in Ukraine: President appointed anti-corruption judges, procedure for issuing driving licences was changed, bills on access to advocacy and a tax on withdrawn capital, Constitutional Court is considering a case on Chernobyl disability pension

14.04.2019 / 21:43

Legal news in Ukraine: President appointed anti-corruption judges, procedure for issuing driving licences was changed, bills on access to advocacy and a tax on withdrawn capital, Constitutional Court is considering a case on Chernobyl disability pension

President has appointed judges to the High Anti-Corruption Court

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has appointed judges to the High Anti-Corruption Court and to the Appeals Chamber of the court. The relevant decrees are published on the website of the state head.

There are 39 vacant positions in court. 38 judges were appointed: 11 judges to the Appeals Chamber and 27 judges to the High Anti-Corruption Court.

The newly appointed judges took the oath in the premises of the Supreme Court.

«The Supreme Anticorruption Court must significantly strengthen Ukraine’s judicial system and become a true pillar of our country in an extremely important area - the fight against corruption,» the President said.

It should be added that one of the candidates to the Appeals Chamber left the competition. Therefore, one vacancy remains vacant in the court.

The Anti-Corruption Court was created as part of the 2016 judicial reform.

The creation of the court was supported by public figures, the Venice Commission, Transparency International EU, GRECO, the European Union and the USA. At the same time, the Chairman of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, Yaroslav Romanyuk, called this court «an extra link».

The judges were chosen by the High Qualifications Commission of Judges of Ukraine with the help of the Public Council of International Experts. In the competition procedures were involved highly qualified international experts (former judges and prosecutors) from Great Britain, Canada, Denmark, Lithuania, Macedonia.

The court will consider corruption cases, in particular, according to the following articles: appropriation, embezzlement of property or seizing it by abusing official position; misuse of budget funds; abuse of power or authority.

Also in the jurisdiction of the court – cases in the sphere of economic activity (illegal taking of property by enterprises, institutions, organizations; legalization (laundering) of proceeds from crime) and cases in the sphere of official activity (declaring false information).

The Higher Anti-Corruption Court will start work in accordance with the decision of the court’s meeting, which will be published on the web portal of the judiciary and in the newspaper «Voice of Ukraine».

Aleksey Zhukov was appointed as an acting head of the court apparatus.

The government has changed the procedure for issuing driving licences

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine amended the procedures for issuing driving licences, driver training and accreditation of driving schools.

Innovations will be introduced within six months.

From now on, not only theoretical, but also practical exam for the drivers will be recorded on video. The test will be recorded using the equipment that will be installed in each exam vehicle.

The theoretical and practical exams will be taken at the same territorial service center of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs.

The validity period of the graduation certificate from the driving schools has been reduced to 2 years.

The driver can get or exchange a driving license only with a mark on the place of registration in the document that confirms the driver identity.

Teachers and driving instructors will be required to enter in a special electronic journal information about the time of theoretical and practical classes, as well as the vehicle on which the practical lesson will be carried out.

All graduates who have completed driver training in vocational education institutions will be allowed to take exams without additional lessons in a driving school.

The draft on the tax on withdrawn capital is proposed to be taken as the basis

The Committee on Taxation and Customs Policy recommends the Verkhovna Rada to take as a basis the bill № 8557 on Amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine in regards to the tax on the withdrawn capital.

The bill provides for the replacement from January 1, 2019 of corporate income tax with capital tax. At the same time, the use of the corporate income tax by banks on their decision is allowed for 3 years (until December 31, 2021).

Capital withdrawal operations include the payment of dividends in favor of the tax evader, the payment of part of the profits by state uncorporated, state-owned or public utilities, the return of contributions to the owner of corporate rights – the tax evader and the like.

The payers of the tax on the withdrawn capital will be residents (economic entities - legal entities that carry out economic activity both on the territory of Ukraine and abroad) and non-residents (legal entities that carry out activity defined in the Tax Code in Ukraine, and permanent representations non-residents who carry out activities on the territory of Ukraine).

It is proposed to apply the following tax rates on the withdrawn capital:

15% - to capital withdrawals;

20% - for operations equivalent to capital withdrawals;

5% - up to funds paid for execution of debt obligations to related persons – non-residents.

The Constitutional Court has begun consideration of the Chernobyl disability pension case

On April 10, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine began the consideration of the case on the constitutionality of the provisions of Article 59, paragraph 3, of the Law of Ukraine «On the Status and Social Protection of the Victims of the Chornobyl Catastrophe» of February 28, 1991, No. 796-XII, as amended.

According to the third part of Article 59 of the Law, for persons who participated in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster, other nuclear accidents and tests, in military exercises using nuclear weapons during their actual military service and as a result became persons with disabilities, the disability pension is calculated in accordance with The law or at the request of such persons - from the fivefold amount of the minimum wage established by law on January 1 of the relevant year.

The author of the petition considers that since he was summoned to military service and he participated in the liquidation of the Chernobyl disaster’s consequences in the period from January 6, 1987 to April 9, 1987, he has the right to recalculate the pension from October 1, 2017.

The plaintiff stated that according to the provisions of the third part of Article 59 of the Law, legal regulation on the calculation of disability pensions does not apply to military servicemen from military service, called up for military training to eliminate the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. Therefore, he receives a pension «three times lower than conscripts». This violates his constitutional rights, defined by the first part of Article 9, the first and second parts of Article 24 of the Constitution of Ukraine.

A bill on access to a lawyer’s profession was registered

A draft Law of Ukraine No. 10220 ««On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine «On the Bar and Practice of law» regarding access to Advocacy» is registered in the Verkhovna Rada.

According to the changes, the higher legal education should be understood as the second (master’s) level of higher legal education received in Ukraine, as well as the higher legal education of the corresponding level obtained in foreign countries and recognized in Ukraine.

The bill establishes an exhaustive list of the grounds for refusal of admission to the qualifying exam. Such grounds are: 1) the applicant’s failure to comply with the requirements of the Law of Ukraine «On the Bar and Practice of law»; 2) inconsistency of the submitted documents with legal requirements; 3) not full submission of documents stipulated by the procedure for admission to the qualification exam.

As part of the qualification exam, the Higher Qualification and Disciplinary Commission of the Bar will conduct anonymous testing.

The draft law exempts from internships not only persons who have worked as lawyers' assistants for at least one year in the last two years, but also persons with five years of experience in the field of law.

The head of the Bar Council of the region must have 10 years of continuous experience in advocacy.

In addition, the Higher Qualification-Disciplinary Commission of Advocates should be accountable exclusively to the Congress of Advocates of Ukraine, and not to the Council of Advocates of Ukraine.

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