The Ministry of Justice does not hurry to make amendments to the law on lustration

The only thing, which has not been discussed yet after Kiev meetings with Gianni Buquicchio, is about the amendments to the law on lustration. The issue which Ukrainian politicians have been actively discussing with the representatives of the Venice Commission since December 2014.

Then, the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice promised to change the current Law on Lustration, which in Venice was called “bad”. However, these amendments have not been accepted so far. What the Venice Commission is exactly dissatisfied with – read more.

The Law on Cleansing of the Authorities, or as it is called by politicians and the mass media, the Law on Lustration. It came into force in October 2014 and since then it is probably one of the most controversial laws in Ukraine.

The lustration law was adopted at the parliamentary elections in 2014 – it was voted at the time when the election campaign was at full pace. The members of Parliament hastened and the Law was adopted in spite of numerous negative comments, both from politicians and from lawyers and human rights defenders.

“The law includes such provisions, which allow certain people to avoid the lustration. – It says that people who fought in the ATO zone are the exception of the long list of those who are subject to lustration. That is, you can go to the ATO zone for 2 weeks, drawing up that you are a combat veteran, outstay behind the front line – and you will not fall under lustration”, Anna Malyar says, lawyer.

The Law was also criticized for the fact that abstract number of civil servants were subjected to lustration without concrete evidence of their fault in committing any illegal actions – simply because they hold certain positions for a certain period.

Furthermore, it was criticized for the absence of an independent authority, which would be engaged in inspection of officials. Moreover, for the fact of establishing bans for former communists, more symbolic than workable in practice, to hold high positions and it is 20 years after communism collapse.

In addition, the most important thing – it has been criticized for the fact that the Law is actually a substitute for anti-corruption fight. It was the greatest fear of Europe.

“We are concerned with protecting the rights of people who will be affected by lustration. One more concern is an attempt to replace anti-corruption fight by means of the Law. We are also afraid that this law may become an instrument of political revenge and fight with opponents”, Thomas Markert said, Head of the Secretariat of the Venice Commission.

“The final decision of the Venice Commission is the following – the Law does not match the required purpose. It should be fundamentally revised and changed. It is necessary to avoid the politicization of the Law. It should not become an instrument of political revenge with opponents.

Lustration should be held in strict accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine and the European standards. It is impossible to lustrate people who once were related to the Communist Party, and this is one of the key the comments –20 years have passed since then” Gianni Buquicchio says, President of the Venice Commission.

The representatives of the Ukrainian authorities, first of all, the Ministry of Justice have promised to change the controversial law even after the first discussion of Ukrainian lustration issue in Venice at the meeting of the European Commission for Democracy through Law.

The Venice Commission has considered the document in great detail and proposed a list of amendments, with which Ukrainian officials agreed. They agreed but … did not change anything. This step surprised the Europeans greatly; they are not accustomed to such a relation to their recommendations. The Ukrainian party has forgotten its promise for many months – now more than a year.

“We have not received any amendments so far. Some time ago we took an opinion on the Law but what the fortune of our recommendations is now – I do not know” Gianni Buquicchio says, President of the Venice Commission.

The Venice Commission does not deny lustration as a whole, but insists that such processes should take place in compliance with the fundamental human rights and the presumption of innocence.

At the moment, almost 1,000 officials have been dismissed according to the current Ukrainian law on lustration. Many people have resigned voluntarily, not to undergo lustration check on such inadequate conditions.
Source of information: Подробности

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