On the 27 August the outline of the tax reform, that has been named one of the priorities by the National Council of Reforms, is expected to be presented. The aim of this article is to analyze what options for the reform are available, what acute problems it is supposed to solve and which reform path is likely to be selected.
The Ukrainian Parliament has postponed until August consideration of a bill that would abolish judicial and parliamentary immunity. Although this issue has recently taken a back seat to decentralization, it remains an important policy matter that requires through analysis and scrutiny.
The actual people’s participation in justice by adjudication has been promised and awaited its moment for a very long time, and without a doubt it is a meaningful step forward for Ukrainian community. Another matter of concern for legislator should become the ongoing debate on how to secure the impartiality of jury and secure an obligation of lay judges to refrain from independent research on a case in the era of new social media, when it is almost impossible to control the flow of information and individual personal contacts.
Current Ukrainian model of power distribution is somewhere in between the model where a president is the head of the government (like in US) and the parliamentary republic where a president has only representative functions (like in Germany). Hence, it is natural that the president and the Prime-Minister try to “pull” the decision-making center to their side. Perhaps, it is the time to choose between the two constitutional models?
The current rush to change the local elections law continues an unfortunate Ukrainian tradition of amending election legislation just months before the election day. There is particular urgency to clarify voting arrangements for those displaced by the conflict in the East and those living in areas adjacent to the areas outside government control.
Like many other developing countries, Ukraine has problems with protection and enforcement of the intellectual property (IP) rights. The empirical evidence to date suggests that the advantages reaped by enacting stronger IP protection outweigh the disadvantages, including the loss of imitative products and markets. While IP reform may seem a bitter pill, it is in Ukraine’s interest to swallow it.
Establishing the rule of law is not easy. It does not just require good legislation or well-paid judges – it requires a culture of respect for the rule of law throughout the legal system. To move Ukraine towards a rule of law requires training, mentoring, monitoring, proper remuneration and appropriate hiring and evaluation of both prosecutors and judges.
On April 9, 2015 the Ukrainian parliament by a comfortable majority adopted four laws that have become collectively referred to as de-communization laws. Objections to the law have varied from hopelessly simplified rhetorical battles along the lines of “the laws are falsifying and re-writing “true” history/the laws are liberating “true” history from the clutches of the Soviet propaganda,” to the identification of specific troubling consequences of these laws. To truly comply with the European practices, the laws dealing with totalitarian regimes and fighters for independence ought to be amended in a way that actions defined by inherently ambiguous terms (“denial of the criminal nature of the regime,” “denial of the legitimacy of the struggle for independence,” “information aimed at justifying” regimes, etc) are not made punishable offenses, whether administrative or criminal.