Ukrainian law

Legal news in Ukraine: Verkhovna Rada is considering land bill, new decision and new case of Constitutional Court, bill on freezing increase of judges’ salaries is rejected, Criminal Procedure Code may be amended in cases involving minors

22.02.2020 / 09:30
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Legal news in Ukraine: Verkhovna Rada is considering land bill, new decision and new case of Constitutional Court, bill on freezing increase of judges’ salaries is rejected, Criminal Procedure Code may be amended in cases involving minors

People's deputies considered more than a third of amendments to the land bill

On February 21, 2020, people’s deputies continue to consider amendments to the bill No. 2178-10 «On amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine regarding the circulation of agricultural land»/

In general, deputies considered 1,506 amendments from 4,018 bill.

The bill provides for the abolition of the land moratorium in Ukraine from October 2020.

The project allows citizens of Ukraine and Ukrainian companies to buy up to 10 thousand hectares of land in one hand without foreign beneficiaries. The purchase is allowed only through non-cash payment and for funds whose origin has been confirmed.

It should be added that the bill was approved as a basis on November 13, 2019.

The decision of the Constitutional Court in the case of the Supreme Court of Ukraine has been published

On February 18, 2020, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine ruled in the case on the constitutional submission of the Supreme Court of Ukraine on the constitutionality of certain provisions of Sections 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 17, 20, 22, 23, 25 of Section X «Transitional provisions» of the Law of Ukraine «On Judiciary and Status of Judges» of June 2, 2016 No. 1402 – VIII.

The subject of the right to a constitutional petition argued that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, having enshrined at the legislative level the procedure for termination of activity and liquidation of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, went beyond the powers specified in the Constitution of Ukraine.

The Constitutional Court found that the provisions of paragraphs 7 («and liquidated» in part of the Supreme Court of Ukraine), 14 («judges of the Supreme Court of Ukraine») and 25 of Section XII «Final and Transitional Provisions» of Law No. 1402 were not in conformity with the Constitution of Ukraine.

The Constitutional Court recommended that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine immediately adapt the provisions of Ukrainian legislation to this Decision.

The decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine is binding, final and such that it cannot be appealed.

The Constitutional Court is considering the case on the Ombudsman’s submission

On February 17, 2020, the Grand Chamber of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine opened a case on the constitutional submission of the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman requests that the provisions of Article 90, subparagraph 1, paragraph 2, section XI, «Final and Transitional Provisions» of the Law of Ukraine «On Civil Service» of December 10, 2015 No. 889-VIII and part 7 of Article 21 of the Law of Ukraine «On Service in Local Authorities» No. 793-III of June 7, 2001 be declared unconstitutional.

According to the Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for Human Rights, the contested provisions have changed the conditions for pensions for public servants and local government officials, as well as the right to recalculate (index) their pensions.

The Constitutional Court has sent to the President of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, as well as a number of scientific institutions and institutions of higher education, requests for legal opinions on issues raised in the constitutional submission.

The Grand Chamber of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine examined the case file at the open part of the plenary session and moved to the closed part of the plenary session.

Parliament rejected a bill on freezing judges' pay increases

The draft law on freezing the increase in the basic salary of judges was rejected by the Committee on Legal Policy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

It is a government draft Law No. 2670 «On Amendments to Clause 24 of Section XI «Final and Transitional Provisions» of the Law of Ukraine «On Judiciary and Status of Judges».

This bill is known in the judicial environment as a bill that is proposed to freeze with a one-year extension of the basic salary for judges of local general, appellate and higher specialized courts, as well as to regulate the situation with the payment of salaries to court staff.

Chairman of the State Judicial Administration of Ukraine Zenovii Kholodniuk explained that the provisions of the draft contradict the Constitution of Ukraine, and the State Judicial Administration has already paid increased judicial remuneration to the judges of these courts in January 2020. Therefore, the reverse process is impossible.

Representatives of the Government agreed with his position and stated that they would not insist on the adoption of the bill.

Kholodniuk also noted that it is necessary to quickly find financial resources for the salaries of court employees. According to him, otherwise they will be left without salaries for February and March.

Committee members recommended that the Ministry of Finance consider introducing this issue into a bill that is preparing changes to the budget, which will allow to resolve this problem in some way.

The Criminal Procedure Code may be amended to deal with cases involving minors

On February 12, 2020, the Draft Law No. 3061 «On Amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine (on Strengthening Safeguards for the Protection of Minors’ Rights in Criminal Procedure)» was registered in the Verkhovna Radа.

The bill proposes to amend the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine on strengthening guarantees for the protection of the rights of minors in criminal proceedings.

In particular, it is proposed to determine the procedural status in the criminal proceedings of a person who, after reaching the age of 11 years before reaching the age of criminal responsibility, commits a socially dangerous act.

It is proposed that a trial involving minors take place only in closed session, and that a public hearing be held solely at the request of the parties.

It also provides for the possibility to apply to minors who have not reached the age of criminal responsibility, measures alternative to placing them in the receiver-distributor.

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