On putting on the agenda a number of draft laws (main and alternative) on the High Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine

The website of the VR of Ukraine has presented the weekly agenda of the 8th session of the VR of Ukraine of 8th convocation for the February 5 to 9, 2018, plenary week. This draft must be discussed at the meeting of the Conciliation Board of deputy factions and deputy groups on Monday, February 5.

1. The website mentions the title of a document “On Commissioning the Committee on Legal Policy and Justice with the Preparation for Urgent Consideration of Draft Laws on the High Anti-Corruption Court (Registered No. 7440, 7440-1, 7440-2, 7440-3, 7440-4) and on Amending the Law of Ukraine ‘On the Judicial System and the Status of Judges’ in Connection with the Adoption of the Law of Ukraine ‘On the High Anti-Corruption Court’ (Registered No. 7441, 7441-1)” without presenting the text itself. It should be noted that this mention can be the basis for adoption by the Rada of a procedural decision to urgently consider these draft laws by putting them on the agenda of a plenary meeting (without additionally including them in the agenda of the session) if they were prepared for urgent consideration in execution of the respective commission given by the Verkhovna Rada (Part four, Article 96 of the Rules of Procedure).

2. On January 8, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine received a letter from I. Rainin, Head of the Presidential Administration, informing the Parliament that the above-mentioned main draft Laws Nos. 7440 and 7441 will be presented at the session by Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration O. Filatov instead of I. Lutsenko, the President’s Representative to the VRU, who had been specified in the submission referring to these draft laws. The letter is available on the website of the VR of Ukraine.

3. Earlier on, the website presented the opinion on these bills by the Main Research and Expert Department. However, the publication data of this information was not January 16, contrary to what is stated on the web-pages of Draft Laws Nos. 7440 and 7441.

In its opinion, the MRED recommends that these draft laws be referred for finalization.

4. Although both these drafts had already been presented to Committees, in particular the lead Committee, which was chosen to be the Committee on Legal Policy and Justice (headed by Kniazevych), on December 26, 2017, this Committee has not yet given its opinion on whether or not the bills should be put on the agenda of the Verkhovna Rada session (Part three, Article 93 of the VRU Rules of Procedure, which specifies that such opinion must be submitted by the lead Committee within thirty days).

5. Pursuant to Part three, Article 96 of the Rules of Procedure of the VR of Ukraine, if the lead Committee fails to approve an opinion on putting a particular draft law on the session agenda, the respective holder of the legislative initiative (in this case, the President of Ukraine) may address the VRU in this connection; after that, the Verkhovna Rada must consider the matter within 15 days at a plenary session and decide either to put the draft law on the agenda of the session of the Verkhovna Rada or to grant more time to the lead Committee for preparing its opinion on the bill. However, the President did not use such opportunity, although by doing so he could have speeded up consideration of the matter.

Volodymyr Kryzhanivskyi