New parliamentary session has opened, so MPs, the Cabinet, and the President once again started to submit draft bills. Today in our digest: legislative proposals on protecting human rights and conducting opinion polls at polling places during elections.
Government wants to make Ukrainian legislation more humane (4049)
Sponsor: the Cabinet.
Who is affected: Ukrainian citizens, foreigners, and stateless persons that live in Ukraine, persons that committed administrative offences, persons suspected of committing crimes, persons sentenced for life, and participants of criminal proceedings.
Why this is important: Ukrainian authorities systematically violate human rights, especially in criminal justice sphere. As a result, their victims get significant compensations from the government budget of Ukraine by rulings of the European Court of Human Rights.
What does the bill change:
- a number of violations will not anymore be punished by an administrative arrest (detention for up to 15 days) and the period for appeal hearings against administrative arrest will be shortened in order to increase defendants’ chances to get court’s decision promptly
- persons convicted for life imprisonment will be able to apply for parole after serving 15 years
- judges will have an authority to order pretrial detention (home or night arrest, custody etc.) only after a motion from the prosecutor
- acquitted and convicted defendants, victims, and some other participants of the proceedings will be granted the right to study materials of their cases.
What is right:
- the bill will ensure better observance of human rights
- authorities will have to comply with ECHR practice and European standards of protecting human rights, life and health.
MPs from Servant of the People propose to conduct opinion polls during elections (4043)
Cosponsors: a group of MPs from Servant of the People faction, Oleksandr Korniienko (the first deputy chairperson head of the faction) as first signatory.
Who is affected: citizens, local government, the Central Election Commission, and the Cabinet.
What does it change:
- at the request of the Cabinet, the Central Election Commission will be obliged to conduct opinion polls. The Cabinet defines a list of questions, terms and scope of a poll
- polls are supposed to be conducted on election day (national or local elections) and cover the whole country or only some designated territories
- poll results will have to be published on Central Election Commission’s website within five days after they have been established
- a number of issues will not be allowed to be included in polls: the temporarily occupied territories, elections in the temporarily occupied territories, trade with the temporarily occupied territories, governance in the temporarily occupied territories, amnesty, and relations with the aggressor state.
What is wrong:
- opinion polls, especially conducted by government bodies, can easily become an instrument of manipulation. It is highly probable that such polls will be used as pseudo-referendums to legitimize decisions the authorities plan to make
- restrictions on the range of questions the Cabinet is allowed to include in polls are insufficient
- since no guidelines are provisioned, the Cabinet will not be bound by sociological standards. That creates a perfect opportunity for manipulation via both the manner in which opinion polls will be conducted and the content of questionnaires.
Additional information: MPs from Holos faction have submitted nine bills alternative to 4043.
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