Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a bill into law to amend the Law of Ukraine on the Prevention of Corruption to reinstate an institutional mechanism for preventing corruption.
This was reported on the president's official website.
The bill was adopted by the Ukrainian parliament on December 15.
The document eliminates the legislative gaps that arose after the Constitutional Court of Ukraine on October 27 recognized as unconstitutional some provisions of the Law of Ukraine on the Prevention of Corruption. It ensures the full-fledged work of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP).
The law also stipulates additional specifics of the NACP's powers in relation to judges, including judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, aimed at ensuring compliance with the guarantees of those persons' independence. This approach will take into account the Constitutional Court's October 27 ruling, and at the same time will preserve the effectiveness and proportionality of the institutional mechanism for preventing corruption.
The document also provides for open round-the-clock access to the state register of declarations of persons authorized to perform the functions of the state or local self-government.
In addition, the law establishes the specifics of conducting full checks of assets declarations and monitoring income and spending of judges, including judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. It also provides legal regulation regarding liability for corruption and corruption-related offenses.
"The implementation of the provisions of the law will help reduce the level of corruption in Ukraine, will restore the functioning of the institutional mechanism for preventing corruption, will contribute to the restoration of the NACP's proper operation and the implementation of Ukraine's international obligations in the field of preventing and combating corruption, to further implementation of its European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations, as well as strengthening of [Ukraine's] standing in the international arena," the President's Office noted.
The law shall come into force the next day after its publication.
Constitutional crisis in Ukraine
- On October 27, the Constitutional Court, on the motion of 47 MPs, adopted a decision repealing Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code, which had provided for liability for inaccurate declaration of assets by government officials.
- The Constitutional Court also recognized unconstitutional the provisions of laws on the verification of e-declarations, and abolished the powers of the NACP to verify such declarations and identify conflict of interest.
- President Volodymyr Zelensky tabled bill No. 4288 in parliament to terminate the powers of all Constitutional Court judges. The document states, in particular, that the decision of the Constitutional Court of October 27 is "null and void" (such that it does not create legal consequences) as such that was adopted by the Constitutional Court judges in conditions of a real conflict of interests." Zelensky proposes the termination of the powers of Constitutional Court judges from the date when the law becomes effective, suggesting that subjects authorized to appoint new judges should immediately begin the procedure for the competitive selection of the court's new members.
- Head of the Constitutional Court Oleksandr Tupytsky said the president's proposals directly contradict the Constitution of Ukraine.
- NACP Chief Oleksandr Novikov says the decision of the Constitutional Court does not actually bar officials from committing corruption offenses.