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The Law on National Security violating the requirements of the Constitution of Ukraine was adopted
1. CPLR expert opinion
On June 21, the Parliament approved in general the Law on National Security of Ukraine (Reg. No. 8068), initiated by the President of Ukraine. This Law is intended to replace outdated legislation governing relations in the security sector.
2. Respective authorities counter-point/argument
The President of Ukraine and the parliamentary majority consider this Law to allow Ukraine’s national security system to be brought in line with the standards of NATO member states.
3. CPLR assessment of the authorities counter-point
The adopted Law still contains significant inconsistencies with European standards and provisions of the Constitution, which were not remedied before its second reading. In particular:
- inclusion of the ministries and other executive authorities (police, migration service, transport service, etc.) in the security sector is a direct violation of European standards (PACE Recommendation 1713 (2005) on democratic control of the security sector of the member states). Indeed, the above-mentioned Recommendation stipulates that legislation should clearly distinguish between security and intelligence agencies on the one hand and law enforcement agencies on the other hand, given the difference in their tasks and powers;
- keeping the law enforcement functions within the Security Service does not correspond to the counter-intelligence nature of the activity of this agency;
- granting the President unconstitutional powers regarding the appointment and dismissal of the senior command of the Armed Forces, as well as the higher command of other military formations, general management of intelligence agencies, etc.
4. Related legislation/instructions which require the authorities act in a certain manner.
The Law on National Security of Ukraine should be further brought into full compliance with European standards and the requirements of the Constitution of Ukraine.