12 ноября, 2015

On November 10, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine finally adopted legislation from the so-called visa-free laws package, which stipulated the regime liberalization with the European Union.

Prior to a  full meeting of the Rada, the speaker Vladimir Groysman assured members that the visa-free draft laws were agreed to in the relevant committees and should be promoted in the debating chamber. As a result, deputies actually adopted some of the law drafts, by a rather high margin. However, there were not enough deputy votes for one of the key pieces of legislation – the Sexual Minority Discrimination Prohibition Act.


The adopted acts of interest are as follows.


The changes in the Criminal and Civil Codes provide for improvement of the institute of special confiscation to eliminate corruption risks during its application. The draft law defines the list of property to be the subject to special confiscation: money, assets and other property conveyed by a person, who committed a crime, to a third person. As the head of law-enforcement chamber, Andrey Kozhemiakin explained the special confiscation procedure is articulated the same as it is in the corresponding directive of the European Union.


The changes in the Cr.P.C. relating to property arrest were made to eliminate corruption risks, assuming that the arrest is allowable for the purpose of special confiscation or by the decision of a court as physical  evidence, confiscation or restitution. The introduced amendments do not allow any unjustified confiscation from persons not implicated in the commission of a crime or concealment of assets. However, the Minister of Justice Pavel Petrenko asserts that some amendments contradict the EU requirements.


 With law No. 2542а, the deputies redefined the procedural rules for criminal investigations. The SSU kept investigation of crimes related to national security and defense, and crimes related to terrorism. Investigators of the State Bureau of Investigation are endowed with powers for the preliminary inquiry of crimes committed by officials of the first-third category of government employees, judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement-agents.