available languages: english May 5, 2017

More than 130 students from different Ukrainian cities attended our lectures on the Ukrainian reform process. Below are four questions, which were answered by DRI-invited experts.

  1. Reform of the Central Election Committee – how to restore trust in the CEC? (Lecture by Andriy Magera, Deputy Chairman of the CEC, Kyiv)
  • Open competition for the CEC could be an innovation for Ukraine, allowing a fair assessment of qualifications and professional merits. It will strengthen integrity and increase public confidence in the body.
  • Despite this free competition, proportional representation of all parliamentarian fractions should be kept in place.
  • CEC members’ mandates should not be linked with MPs’ mandates.

  1. Is it possible to implement decentralisation without constitutional amendments? (Lecture by Yaryna Zhurba, expert on constitutional law and decentralisation, Vinnytsya)
  • Having failed to gain sufficient support, the constitutional amendments concerning decentralisation were removed from the parliamentary agenda. However, the 2014 decentralisation reform process continues to be implemented based on the current law, and there are 366 newly amalgamated territorial communities.
  • The financial and institutional capacities of the councils and administrations where the communities are not amalgamated would suffice only to replace light bulbs in their premises.
  • New draft amendments of the Constitution are necessary to ensure that the reform process’ progress and revise the powers of local authorities.

“Financial and institutional capacities of the councils and administrations where the communities are not amalgamated would suffice only to replace light bulbs in their premises.”

  1.  Legal concept of human rights – do we need a revision? (Lecture by Anton Lovin, DRI Senior Legal Advisor, Kharkiv)
  • Despite the extensive human rights chapter in the Ukrainian Constitution, members of the Constitutional Commission are discussing possible amendments regarding the right to possess firearms, same-sex marriages and partnerships, and anti-discrimination amendments.
  • When discussing amendments, the law-makers refer to the concept of human rights enshrined in the international conventions to which Ukraine is committed.
  • The biggest challenge is to monitor that the concept is not misused for political purposes.

  1. What is the current status of the reform to the Constitutional Court? (Lecture by Anton Lovin, DRI Senior Legal Advisor, Kyiv)
  • The constitutional amendments regarding the judiciary do not provide new rules for selecting judges.
  • An open competition procedure should be established by a law.
  • The new law has to regulate the selection of judges and the constitutional complaint procedure.
  • The law-makers should consider engaging civil society in the selection of judges for the Constitutional Court. The Public Council of Integrity is a positive example of civil society involvement in the selection of judges for the Supreme Court.

“Financial and institutional capacities of the councils and administrations where the communities are not amalgamated would suffice only to replace light bulbs in their premises.” (1)