A Lesson From the Nasirov’s Case And When We Will Have an Anti-corruption Court

The last two days Ukraine has watched the progress of the Nasirov’s case. Delays of trials by all ways, known to lawyers of the former Head of the State Fiscal Service, have further demonstrated the inabilities of Ukrainian courts.
In order to make the NABU work effectively, we need an unbiased anti-corruption court in Ukraine.
It is remarkable that establishing the anti-corruption court was indicated among updated requirements of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) to extend the credit program, the so-called ‘beacons’. Herewith, the deadline is rather short – a new body is to be established by mid-June 2017.
It means that the Government promised to hold complex reform in exchange for regular replenishment of reserves.

Will Ukraine manage to fulfill the promise on time?
National politics is, of course, unpredictable. With colleagues from the PolitEyes Project, Transparency International Ukraine tried to answer this question using statistics.
We have analyzed information according to two characteristics that can most accurately reflect the situation with the draft law on establishing the anti-corruption court.
On the one hand, we saw how the ‘IMF draft laws’ are passed to the Verkhovna Rada – draft laws, developed to implement the credit program and achieve ‘beacons’. On the other hand, how the draft laws are considered in the profiled Committee for legal policy and justice.
Aside from the political factors, these two trends allow to predict how much time they need before establishing the Anti-corruption court.
Trends of passing the IMF draft laws
For the analysis we took information from 2015 to 2016, because the balance of power at that time was the closest to today’s realities.
Over two years fifty-seven draft laws have beenregistered in the Verkhovna Rada, focused on the implementation of the IMF program. Basic trends are presented in the infographics.

The initiator of the majority draft laws was the Cabinet of Ministers: 72% – governmental initiatives. The President and people’s deputies registered sixteen draft laws.
It is remarkable that the Verkhovna Rada supported more than half of draft laws – thirty-two of fifty-seven draft laws (56%) became laws.
Therefore, the IMF draft laws have a good chance to be passed to the Parliament. It is important to have the support on the part of the Profile Committee. The Verkhovna Rada met the recommendations of the Committees in 88% of the proposed decisions.
The whole process of mentioned draft laws consideration from the registration date to adoption took in average ninety-nine days. But the time of passing the draft laws in Parliament varied in seven times depending on the necessary stages of consideration. If the draft laws were adopted quicker that in a month, consideration would take half a year for two readings by the people’s deputies.
General trends of draft laws on implementation of the Memorandum show that the initiator and decision of the Committee are important for the Initiative and time of its passing.
To suggest how long it takes to establish the Anti-corruption court in Ukraine, we have to understand the logics of decisions of the relevant committee.
When should we expect the establishment of the Anti-corruption court?
The decision on establishing the Anti-corruption court will most likely be the burden of the Committee on Law and Justice. Similar draft law No.6011, initiated by a group of people’s deputies authored by Yehor Soboliiev, is registered in this Committee.
Concerning the draft law initiators in compliance with the IMF ‘beacon’ requirements there are two major variables: either the President of Ukraine or deputies from the Democratic parties.
To understand the situation with the Anti-corruption court, we have analyzed the work of the Profile Committee with the draft laws from both categories.

As it turned out, the draft law authorship plays a significant role, moreover, in favor of the President. More than a half (55%) of his legislative initiatives became laws. The Committee adopts draft laws fourteen times less a total of only 4% from all that have been submitted.
The truth is that the Committee recommends to adopt most of the Presidential draft laws on a first reading. It considerably increases the time for them to be passed.
On average, it takes five months from the moment of the draft law registration to the time they are adopted.
Successful deputy draft laws are usually passed five times faster and become laws not less than in a month. But in this case speed is most likely a result of deputies’ technical amendments in the draft laws which are adopted at once, in general.
It takes three months for the Committee to consider the people’s deputies initiatives adopted over two readings. That is why the deputy’s authorship would hardly speed up the process of court establishment.
Will we meet the deadline?
Theoretically, Ukraine can create a legislative framework for the Anti-corruption court even before the expected term.
According to the statistic, this long-awaited reform has a chance for success, if the initiative will be given by the President. Though the Parliament will most likely support it, consideration process will take months.
Currently there are seven planning weeks left until mid-June when the new body of the International Monetary Fund will be established.
Even if the President will present his draft law in the coming days, the final decision will hardly be taken by the Government before June. Moreover, this variant should be agreed with deputies, otherwise the process will slow down for a long term.
Events over the past few days have shown that each potential delay on the part of the President and the Committee at this stage reduce not only the chances of the country to fulfill the IMF promise, but also threaten to continue the term of an existing legal vacuum and antiquated judiciary system.
If this system will not be broken, corrupt officials and their followers will only grow stronger together with unsolved anti-corruption cases. The consequences of such a system cannot be fixed by any credit tranche.
Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, Executive Director of Transparency International Ukraine,
Roman Suprun, coordinator of the PolitEyes project
Prepared especially for UP