MPs are working their fingers to the bone day and night creating dozens of draft laws aimed to restore the murdered provisions of the Law of Ukraine “On Corruption Prevention” and the Criminal Code of Ukraine. They also look for ways to legally and, sometimes, creatively stop the work of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.
Experts and many others have come up with a lot of ideas, and each of them has its own pros and cons. However, the MPs have decided not to take into account expert advice and conclusions. The Anti-Corruption Committee of the Parliament has supported draft law No. 4304, which has already been dubbed the “Razumkov’s project.”
We should note right away that this draft law is so far from the rule of law and legal technique and it can be characterized as an “ultra-simple solution.” Mr. Razumkov and 124 MPs believe that it is very easy to emerge from the current crisis and restore what has been destroyed by the Constitutional Court. After all, the solution starts with something easy. This is the direct quotation:
Article 1. Reinstate from the date of entry into force of this law paragraphs 6, 8 of part one of Article 11, paragraphs 1, 2, 6-101, 12, 121 of part one, parts two – five of Article 12, part two of Article 13, part two of Article 131, Article 35, paragraphs two, three of part one of Article 47, articles 48-51, parts two, three of Article 52, Article 65 of the Law of Ukraine “On Corruption Prevention” of October 14, 2014, No. 1700–VII, as well as Article 3661 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine as amended by these provisions, which were in force as of October 27, 2020.
That is all. Really.
So, this draft law consists of only one article which provides for restoring the legislative provisions canceled by the Constitutional Court. There are a number of reasons why it is already an act of “legal nihilism” and an option that is disconnected from the decision of the Constitutional Court.
- First of all, this draft does not take into account any reasons why the abolished provisions were ruled unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court on October 27.
- The CCU may cancel it at any time. It would take judges one hour to do it. And it will put an end to the renewal of the anti-corruption infrastructure again.
- Officials may safely ignore this law because it is impossible to restore what does not even exist. Any court will be guided by the decision of the Constitutional Court, and not by this law.
- The legislator has not even complied with the technical standards for the numbering of articles and paragraphs.
I fully understand these hundred MPs led by Razumkov. They want this chaos to be stopped, and they don’t like to be bothered and told what needs to be done and corrected. And others have, perhaps, wanted to distance themselves from President Zelenskyy’s radical stance.
However, Mr. Razumkov and his colleagues must realize that it is impossible to simply “roll everything back.” Grounds of unconstitutionality given by the Constitutional Court raise more questions than answers and are very general, which requires very careful work to amend each article and paragraph. There is no simple solution: we need time, patience, and most importantly, will to restore the legislation in the best way.
The only possible (though still imperfect) option for voting for Razumkov’s draft law is to support this initiative in the first reading without reducing/shortening the time frame to complete the work. And then MPs will need to change/improve each article and paragraph very carefully before the second reading takes place. And it should be done this year because very soon, the NACP will need to verify officials’ declarations for 2020.
Frankly, that is not the main issue right now. The crisis is getting worse, and it is much more threatening for the country to let such a Constitutional Court keep functioning and working in this “creative way.” First of all, now we need to pay attention to the activities and future composition of the Constitutional Court, and only then carefully restore the anti-corruption legislation.
We have already discussed 5 essential steps to solve the existing/current issue.
It is worth emphasizing that it is the Constitutional Court matter we need to start resolving this crisis with. Everything else is fraud and political PR. Recently, more than 50 civil society organizations have called the judges of the Constitutional Court to resign. This may be the easiest step at the beginning of a long way.
If the MPs keep imitating an active fight, they may wake up in a different country as soon as next Monday. In a country where survival is the key issue, not the number of TV shows visited per week.
The only possible (though still imperfect) option for voting for Razumkov’s draft law is to support this initiative in the first reading without reducing/shortening the time frame to complete the work.