Parliament’s work during this week will be remembered mostly for the spread of coronavirus among MPs and the lack of votes for many of the draft bills. The monomajority has failed to produce enough votes to adopt decisions on its own, so the Verkhovna Rada rejected a lot of draft bills. However, MPs have considered many important proposals, in particular, about the Commissioner for Human Rights, assistance for children, and education.
Attempt to dismiss the Commissioner for Human Rights
Resolution draft #6322 of November 18, 2021
Status: resolution has been rejected.
Who could have been affected: Lyudmyla Denisova, employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Police, National Guard, and Security Service, detained and convicted persons, investigators, prosecutors, Ukrainian hostages detained on the occupied territories, and Ukrainian citizens.
Summary of the resolution: MPs wanted to establish a Dedicated Provisional Commission to investigate the alleged violation of the oath of allegiance by the Commissioner for Human Rights.
Justification of the resolution: according to the resolution’s author, he has received a complaint about the Commissioner from a citizen. There are six decisions by the Kyiv District Administrative Court and the Sixth Appeal Administrative Court that have ruled that Lyudmyla Denisova had responded to citizens’ appeals inadequately. In MP’s opinion, these decisions are reasons enough to investigate the work of Lyudmyla Denisova and check whether she has violated her oath of allegiance.
Why this is important:
the Commissioner for Human Rights exercises parliamentary control over the observance of the constitutional human and civil rights and freedoms. The Commissioner has proper instruments to control the work of defense and law enforcement agencies and to monitor violations of human rights
a dismissal of the Commissioner has to be justified by solid reasons as defined by law, in particular, if there was indeed a violation of the oath. The Commissioner cannot be dismissed without a reason.
What is wrong: even if the Dedicated Investigative Commission managed to prove the violation of the oath, it would not have been proven as a fact. Thus, even if the Parliament dismissed Lyudmyla Denisova, such a decision would have been doubtful and liable to be challenged. The chance is high that the court would have taken the side of Lyudmyla Denisova.
Minimum alimony amount increase
Draft bill #3881 of July 17, 2020
Status: adopted by the Parliament, awaits to be signed by the President.
Who is affected: parents, children, government bodies, and taxpayers.
Summary of the draft bill:
the state will provide temporary state aid for families in cases when it is impossible to find parents obliged to pay the alimony, when they are evading alimony payments, or when they are unable to support the child. The amount of the aid will be at least half of the subsistence minimum for a child of the respective age (currently, from ₴1050 to ₴1309)
minimum alimony amount for a child from relatives of parents that are not paying or are unable to pay alimonies will be at least half of the subsistence minimum for a child of the respective age
recommended minimum of alimony in gross for a child from parents is a subsistence minimum for a child of the respective age (currently, from ₴2100 to ₴2618). It is awarded if the person that pays alimony has a sufficient level of income.
Why this is important:
as a rule, an obligation to support children is put on parents that have to pay alimony. If there are no parents or they are unable to support children for valid reasons, the obligation to support the children is put on other relatives
the amendments of May 2017 provisioned that parents have to pay alimonies of at least half of the subsistence minimum. For the relatives, though, the rate remains 30%. Dishonest parents could abuse this oversight and pay less alimony.
What is right:
normalization and harmonization of the Family Code’s provisions, adjustment of its logical defects
state support for children and divorced parents that look after the children.
Protection of academic integrity
Draft bill #5461 of May 5, 2021
Status: first reading, MPs still have time to amend the bill.
Who is affected: scientists, students, lecturers, and universities.
Summary of the bill: transferring of an academic paper or its part to a third party with the aim for this third party to pretend to be its author or mediation in such a transfer will be recognized as a violation of academic integrity.
What is right: MPs propose to increase penalties for violations of academic integrity.
Why this is important: in December of 2021, a court recognized lecturers’ right to sell scientific papers they wrote to students for money. Although this degrades the value of science as such and scientific work in general, the judge has recognized such activity as the right of a lecturer to profit from creative scientific activity.
Also, MPs voted on the draft bills we analyzed in our previous digests. In particular:
the Parliament sent back for revision the draft bill promoting responsible parenting (3667)
the draft bill introducing e-tickets for public transportation (5705) was adopted in the first reading.
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