President meets with National Commission on strengthening democracy

10:04, 11 December 2008
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The draft Criminal Procedural Code was on agenda

President Victor Yushchenko took part in a meeting of National Commission on strengthening democracy, according to the President`s press-office.

Agenda for the meeting included discussion of draft Criminal Procedural Code and draft Concept of state policy against torture, inhumane and humiliating attitude and punishment.

Speaking at the event President Yushchenko said that despite achievements in political rights protection, effectiveness of general rights protection instruments remains low.

As main obstacle here President named unreformed law enforcement and judicial systems, adding that mostly violation of basic human rights occurs during pre-trial investigation.

Victor Yushchenko said that criminal justice in Ukraine remains hostage to soviet punishment system and therefore continues functioning as a mechanism of persecution rather than being an instrument of citizens’ rights protection. According to him, therefore the contradiction of outdated legal instruments to democratic principles leads to lack of confidence and understanding in the society in its relations with legal system.

President Yushchenko also reminded that adoption of a new Criminal Procedural Code was one of the key obligations coming out of Ukraine’s membership in the Council of Europe. “The new Code should become a fundamental document for Ukrainian democracy”, - he added.

As another concequent step towards better protection of human rights in Ukraine President named adoption Concept of state policy against torture, inhumane and humiliating attitude and punishment.

“Brutal behavior remains a common practice that has not yet been eliminated in Ukraine”, - he said adding that the right for legal redress should be considered as basic for prevention of that.

President thanked the National Commission for its work on the two documents and instructed Minister for Justice Mykola Onishchuk to complete elaboration of the draft Criminal Procedural Code as soon as possible.

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