Ukrainian Law Enforcement Reform Digest #5
Digest for January-February 2018 is dedicated to the process of reform of law enforcement authorities in Ukraine, first of all of police, prosecution authorities, State Bureau of Investigation and criminal justice legislation.
І. Police Reform
1. Strategic Research and Analysis Department was created in the National Police
After elimination of the Department for Fighting Organized Crime in 2015, old operatives were dealing with organized crime at a local level. In the conditions of new crime threats, police decided to return to work in the format of a special department.
At present, the staff selection process has been launched, and it is promised that the department will be established by the end of this year.
By the way, this was one of the first units that was dissolved in the beginning of the reform since it was corrupted and used for illegal pressure on businesses.
1. Competition for positions of heads of detective units is completed
Based on the competition results, the commission selected the candidates for positions of heads of detective departments in all regions of the country.
It should be reminded here that in 2017 the National Police started a pilot project in eight oblasts on merging investigators and operatives under the same command to create a single position of a detective.
1.3. Government approved resolution on identifying citizens' trust in police
On February 7, the Cabinet of Ministers approved Resolution №58 On Approving the Procedure for Assessing Citizens' Trust in Police. This Procedure is necessary for a transfer to a new system of assessing police work based on the level of citizens' trust as provided for in Part 3 Article 11 of the Law on the National Police. The next step will be developing indicators for measuring dynamics, which have to be provided for in the departmental order of the MoI.
2. The procedure for carrying out internal investigations that returns old practices of pressure on prosecutors by their managers came into force
Guidelines for Carrying out Internal Investigations in Prosecution Agencies came into force pursuant to the GPO Order №343 dd. December 6, 2017. Although pursuant to the new legislation, the only body that carries out disciplinary proceedings against prosecutors and brings them to liability is the Qualification and Disciplinary Commission of Prosecutors, the Guidelines return old practices of internal audits by line managers of their subordinates.
2. Prosecutor General's Office announced that Department for SBI Supervision was created
On February 21, during a press conference on summarizing the 2017 results, Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko announced that a decision was made to establish the Department for Procedural Oversight of Criminal Proceedings investigated by the SBI and by the agency that temporarily performs its functions. At present, the management of the Secretariat is tasked with preparing organizational and staffing documents. According to the Prosecutor General, this Department has to be created by April 15 of the current year.
ІІІ. State Bureau of Investigations
3. A number of important documents were approved on activities of the State Bureau of Investigations
In January 2018, the following documents that regulate activities of the SBI were approved:
-‐ Regulation on the Public Oversight Council of the SBI and the procedure for establishment thereof (approved by the CMU Resolution №1086 dd. December 20, 2017);
-‐ Standardized Procedure for Open Competition for Appointment to Positions in SBI (approved by the CMU Resolution №1069 dd. December 20, 2017);
-‐ Rules of Procedure for Exercise of Powers and Authorities by the SBI Director (approved by the SBI Order №6 dd. January 31, 2018).
3. Internal commissions, members of which also include civil society representatives, were created in the SBI for selection of staff members
Internal commissions will select regular staff members of the SBI. At the same time, an external commission that has already selected the SBI Director and Deputy Directors will select heads of units of the central secretariat, directors of local agencies, heads and staff members of the internal oversight units.
3. The State Bureau of Investigations announced a competition for establishing the Public Oversight Council
Till March 7, civil society associations that have been involved in rights protection activities for minimum two years can nominate their candidates to the SBI Public Oversight Council. The Council will consist of 15 members elected for one year. Members of the Council will be elected by preferential voting for each candidate at a constituent meeting that will take place on March 30. Every candidate personally present at the constituent meeting will be able to vote.
3. Committee discussed draft laws on the SBI that have to eliminate legislative gaps
On February 28, the VR Committee on Legislative Support to Law Enforcement Activities discussed draft laws №6430 (submitted by the government) and №7450 (submitted by MPs Mustafa Naiem, Olena Sontyk and others). The Committee decided to adopt both draft laws as the basis. i.e. approved them in the first reading. At the same time, the draft law
№7450 tabled by members of parliament received more votes in the Committee, which fact will be mentioned by the Committee Chair, Andrii Kozhemiakin, during the presentation in the session hall of the parliament, and therefore it has higher chances to be supported by MPs.
IV. Criminal Justice
4. Working Group on developing systemic changes to the CPC of Ukraine was created in Law Enforcement Committee
On December 6, the Committee on Legislative Support to Law Enforcement Activities at its meeting established a working group on developing systemic changes to the CPC. On February 22, a constituent meeting was convened to address organizational issues, during which the participants were divided into five working groups. It should be reminded here, that at present over 100 draft laws on amending the CPC were tabled at the parliament. In total, from the day the new wording of the CPC was adopted, 569 amendments were introduced to the articles adopted by 52 laws and one decision of the Constitutional Court.
4. Draft laws that have to prevent collapse in investigating crimes were registered in the Verkhovna Rada
Draft laws №7547 and 7547-‐1 were registered in the Verkhovna Rada in order to correct the changes adopted together with the new procedural codes, "Lozovyi's amendment" that can result in a collapse during investigation of crimes. The respective provisions will come into force on March 15 of the current year. The majority of them will be canceled by the submitted draft laws.
On February 28, the Committee on Legislative Support to Law Enforcement Activities discussed the main draft law (№7547) and recommended to adopt it as a basis. At the same time, during the discussion the author of an alternative draft law agreed to withdraw it from discussion to ensure prompt adoption of necessary changes.