Local elections are now the primary concern for the majority of politicians, but state institutions continues to work and make decisions important to Ukrainian citizens. Today in our digest: the latest ruling of the Constitutional Court, Parliament’s resolution on selection procedure of the SAPO head, and one less requirement for candidates running for local councils and heads of territorial communities.
Part of the provisions of law on NABU ruled unconstitutional
Decision-maker: the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.
Who is affected: Ukrainian citizens, civil servants, judges, top officials, detectives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), the head of NABU, MPs, the President, and the Cabinet.
What does it change: the Court has ruled unconstitutional for the President to exercise the following powers:
- create the NABU
- appoint and dismiss the head of NABU
- appoint 3 members of the contest committee for selection of the NABU Director
- appoint one member of the committee overseeing NABU’s work
- approve the provision on the Civil Oversight Council at the NABU and the procedure of its formation.
What is right: the Constitutional Court has fulfilled its duty to exercise the constitutional control over acts of legislation adopted by the Verkhovna Rada. All the adopted laws have to agree with the Constitution.
What is wrong: a number of provisions of the law are still unconstitutional. In particular, the Verkhovna Rada still has powers to dismiss the NABU Director, appoint members of the contest committee for selection of the NABU Director, and appoint one member of the committee overseeing NABU’s work.
What’s next: the Parliament has three months to bring the law into line with the Constitution.
Similar problems could arise with the SBI (State Bureau of Investigation). For more details, please read our article Why Zelensky “raided” the SBI and what can be done to amend the situation.
New regulations on Intelligence Service passed (2412-d)
Status: adopted by the Parliament.
Decision–maker: the Parliament.
Who is affected: Ukrainian citizens, employees of intelligence agencies, the President, the Cabinet, and the Parliament.
What does the bill change:
- approves a list of intelligence agencies and defines limits of their jurisdiction
- defines the role, goals, and functions of the intelligence agencies
- introduces special regulations on functioning of the parliamentary committee designated to control the work of intelligence agencies.
What is right: intelligence activity within Ukraine will become more restrained in order to lower the possibility of its abuse against Ukrainian citizens.
What is wrong:
- the bill regulates the court’s consideration of the motion for intelligence. Such a procedure is a part of criminal proceedings, so the provisions should have been included into the Code of Criminal Procedure of Ukraine and not defined in a separate law
- the bill does not prevent the risk of the intelligence coordination agency under the President to become the sole intelligence body that controls all others. As a result, there is a danger that top public officials will start receiving data from only one source
- the bill offers no innovative approaches to how intelligence agencies’ work should be organized. Instead, it just legitimizes the status quo.
Voted for the bill: Servant of the people, European Solidarity, and Holos factions, For the Future and Trust groups.
To know more about the reform of intelligence, please read our article (Un)reformed intelligence: less talk, more action.
Candidates in local elections relieved from obligation to submit a certificate of absence of criminal record (3995)
Status: adopted by the Parliament, awaits to be signed by the President.
Decision-maker: the Parliament.
Who is affected: Ukrainian citizens, candidates for local councils and heads of territorial communities, law enforcement agencies.
What does it change: candidates running for local councils (oblast, raion, and territorial communities) and candidates running for heads of territorial communities are no longer obliged to submit a certificate of absence of criminal record issued by a law enforcement agency after the election process has started.
What is right: according to the order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, a certificate of absence of criminal record is provided during up to 13 calendar days after been requested. Such a term can hinder candidates’ ability to register in time.
Voted for the bill: all factions and groups.
Members of contest committee for selection of SAPO head appointed (4104)
Decision-maker: the Parliament.
Who is affected: judges, top officials, prosecutors of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, the President, the Cabinet, and the Parliament.
What does it change: the Parliament appointed 7 members of the contest committee for selecting staff for administrative positions in the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office. 4 more members are appointed by the Council of Prosecutors.
Why this is important: the contest committee will be able to choose the new head of SAPO. Nazar Kholodnytskyi, the former head of SAPO, submitted his resignation on August 21.
What is wrong:
- the Parliament has no authority to delegate its representatives to contest committees. Thus, the parliamentary decree and Prosecutor General’s order appointing the head of SAPO could be later repealed in court
- despite the requirement for members of the committee to have experience in fighting corruption, the MPs have delegated people with no relevant experience.
Voted for the bill: Servant of the people and Opposition Platform — For Life factions, For the Future and Trust groups.
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