Penalty for unconstitutional laws, removal of two MPs and the status of an MP.

02 November 2022
Penalty for unconstitutional laws, removal of two MPs and the status of an MP.
Home > Monitoring > Penalty for unconstitutional laws, removal of two MPs and the status of an MP.

MPs received proposals to remove Rabinovych and Vasylkovskyi, introduce a status of an MP — the restorer of independence, and introduce a penalty for unconstitutional laws. 

Early removal of two MPs 

Draft resolutions # 8160 and # 8161 of October 28, 2022 

Sponsor: Serhii Kalchenko, the head of the parliamentary Committee on Rules of Procedure. 

Who is affected: voters, the Verkhovna Rada, Vadym Rabinovych, and Ihor Vasylkivskyi 

Summary of the resolutions: 

  • the resolutions propose an early removal of two MPs: 
  • Vadym Rabinovych, the Opposition Platform — For Life faction 
  • Ihor Vasylkovskyi, an MP elected in a single-seat district in Odesa oblast and a member of the Servant of the People faction 
  • the reason for the removal of these MPs is the termination of their Ukrainian citizenship. Extracts from the presidential decree of July 18, 2022, by which Volodymyr Zelensky terminated the Ukrainian citizenship of, among others, Vadym Rabinovych and Ihor Vasylkovskyi, are included as annexes to the draft resolutions. 

What is right: the resolutions are in line with the Constitution since the Constitution provisions an early removal of MPs whose citizenship of Ukraine is terminated. 

What is wrong: it took MPs a long time to submit these draft resolutions and the final decision is not made still. The President issued his decree over 3 months ago, on July 18, and the Parliament has not yet properly responded to the termination of MPs’ citizenship. 

The MPs in question were expelled from parliamentary committees only on October 6: Ihor Vasylkovskyi — from the Committee on Transport, Vadym Rabinovych — from the Committee on Human Rights. Also, according to Yaroslav Zhelezniak, Ihor Vasylkovskyi was present at the parliamentary session on July 27 and participated in voting on the Prosecutor General. 

What’s next: Ihor Vasylkovskyi was elected in a single-mandate district, so an intermediate election will be held to replace him. Vadym Rabinovych represents a political party that was banned so it is doubtful that any of his colleagues will take his place. The most probable scenario is that new MPs will join the parliament after martial law ends. 

Status of an MP — the restorer of independence of Ukraine 

Draft bill # 8157 of October 27, 2022 

Sponsor: Serhii Taruta, member of the Batkivshchyna faction. 

Who is affected: MPs of the first convocation, the Verkhovna Rada, members of the NGO Association of the People’s Deputies of Ukraine, government bodies, local governments, private and state-owned enterprises, establishments, and organizations. 

Summary of the bill: 

  • introduces a status of an MP — the restorer of independence, a parliamentarian of the first convocation who supported the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine, the Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine, or the resolution On Proclaiming the Independence of Ukraine 
  • proposals to grant this status or deprive of this status will be submitted to the Head of the Parliament by the NGO Association of the People’s Deputies of Ukraine. Final decisions on the matter will be made by the majority vote in the Verkhovna Rada 
  • a restorer of the independence will be granted the following rights:

    • to attend open sessions of the Parliament and its bodies 
    • to freely attend government bodies, local governments, enterprises, establishments, and organizations 
    • to get a diplomatic passport 
    • to submit appeals that will have legal power equal to MPs’ appeals. 
  • the restorers will be eligible for a lifelong monthly allowance of one minimum wage. 

What is right: commemoration and recognition of the achievements of MPs of the first convocation who fought for and supported the independence of Ukraine. 

What is wrong: the list of rights that the bill proposes to grant to MPs — the restorers of independence, is excessive. In particular, it is unclear why they need diplomatic passports, the right to freely attend government bodies and enterprises, and submit appeals equal to MPs’ appeals. 

Alternative solution: MPs of the first convocation who supported the independence of Ukraine deserve commemoration, recognition, and support. However, they should not get excessive rights they can exploit. Thus, the draft bill should be significantly amended and the whole approach should be reworked. 

Penalty for submission and adoption of unconstitutional laws 

Draft bill # 8130 of October 17, 2022 

Sponsor: Hryhorii Мамка, member of the Platform for Life and Peace faction. 

Who is affected: the President, MPs, and the Cabinet. 

Summary of the bill: 

  • a criminal penalty will be introduced for the submission or adoption of a draft bill that violates the norms of the Constitution or for the submission or adoption of a legislative initiative that duplicates regulations ruled by the Constitutional Court unconstitutional 
  • the penalty is supposed to be 6 to 8 years imprisonment and restriction to occupy certain positions for up to 5 years. 

What is right: legislators will be extra careful before submitting and supporting draft bills. 

What is wrong: 

  • it is unclear who is supposed to decide whether draft bills comply with the Constitution or whether their provisions duplicate unconstitutional regulations. Uncertainty in this respect can lead to abuse, pressure on MPs, and prosecution of parliamentarians by dishonest representatives of law enforcement agencies 
  • the most probable scenario is that the law will not work. The only body with the powers to decide whether a law is constitutional is the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. Other bodies, including prosecution, regular courts, or police, do not have these powers and cannot have these powers.