On March 16, the Committee on Anti-Corruption Policy of the Verkhovna Rada completed the review of all 504 amendments submitted by MPs to the draft Anti-Corruption Strategy. 

As a result, the Committee members recommended that the Verkhovna Rada vote in the second reading and overall for draft Law No. 4135 “On the Anti-Corruption Strategy.” 

The MPs needed seven meetings and a month and a half involving representatives of the NACP and experts to review these amendments. Finally, the Committee adopted both positive amendments to the document to develop Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Strategy and parts of the Strategy that need improvement. 

The Anti-Corruption Strategy has some strong points, including proposals to establish a transparent and objective competition for the Prosecutor General by an independent commission. It should be an independent and merit-based selection process. 

The MPs also provided a comprehensive list of grounds for dismissing and terminating prosecutors’ powers, including the Prosecutor General. Thus, MPs plan to exclude the unmotivated dismissal of a critical figure in the law enforcement system. 

Another positive amendment is ensuring an independent and transparent selection process for the National Police’s leadership, without political pressure, and ensuring their impartiality.

Negative amendments of the document include

  1. the exclusion of the mentions of the public and international experts on the independent commission for the creation of the disciplinary body in the justice system; 
  2. the exclusion of the application of the “reasonable doubt” standard in the integrity assessment of candidates for the position of a judge; 
  3. the exclusion of introduction of an effective mechanism for verifying the legality of property belonging to a judge or their loved ones. Such amendments bring us farther away from real judicial reform and maintain the system’s tradition of fake reforms.

On February 2, 2021, at the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Anti-Corruption Policy, MPs started reviewing draft Law No. 4135 on the fundamentals of the national anti-corruption policy for 2020–2024 (the Anti-Corruption Strategy), to which MPs submitted 504 amendments. 

It was part of the preparation for the second reading of the Strategy and amendments to the Law “On Corruption Prevention.” The President had urged MPs to approve the 2020-2024 Anti-Corruption Strategy as soon as possible. On November 5, 2020, the Verkhovna Rada voted for the Anti-Corruption Strategy in the first reading and provisionally.

TI Ukraine expects the Parliament to pass the Strategy in the second reading. We keep monitoring the process of adopting a new Anti-Corruption Strategy for 2021-2024.