Venice Commission recommends changing draft law on transitional period in Donbas, Crimea

Source : 112 Ukraine

The Commission recalled that Ukraine cannot unilaterally change the basic provisions of international law on armed conflicts
11:15, 19 October 2021

Venice Commission

The Venice Commission recommends to change the text of draft law No 5844 on the transition period in the Donbas and Crimea as the conclusion of the commission states.

First of all, the Commission notes that the draft proposes to create only a general legal framework for various measures of the transition period, which makes it impossible to clearly foresee the impact of this law if it is adopted; however, the implementation of the framework law in many details will depend primarily on the implementing laws and by-laws that will need to be developed in the future. According to the Commission, the abolition of a number of normative legal acts, as provided by the draft law, would create a legal vacuum in Ukraine on a number of issues, primarily towards the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.

Related: Ukraine responds to blocking of OSCE work in Donbas

Moreover, it is noted that although the project operates with concepts familiar to international law (including the basic concepts of "transitional period", "transitional justice" and so on), their meaning is narrower than that which is customary for international law. The Commission recalled that Ukraine cannot unilaterally change the basic provisions of international law on armed conflicts; they will remain in force regardless of the adoption of the law of Ukraine.

“It is clear that the state has a legitimate right to form its vision ... However, such provisions should either be removed from the draft, or it should be clearly stated that they reflect only the Ukrainian interpretation of international law”.

Related: Donbas militants took OSCE observers hostage in uncontrolled Donetsk region

The commission divided the recommendations into five most important blocks:

  • to revise the provisions of Article 9 on liability for criminal offenses committed in connection with the temporary occupation in line with international law, and to reconsider the differentiated treatment of various categories of perpetrators of crimes;
  • to amend the provisions of Article 10 on disqualification/lustration in line with international standards to ensure inter alia that lustration is limited to the most important positions within the State, that it does not apply to elective offices, that it is properly administered by an independent body and subject to procedural guarantees including individualized liability, protection of personal data and availability of adequate judicial review;
  • to revise the provisions of Article 12 on ensuring the right to truth to make sure that they aim for establishing the truth about all violations and not only those committed by certain specific actors, that they are clearly victim-oriented and that they do not entail establishing one single narrative about the conflict period;
  • to formulate the provisions of Article 13 on convalidation more clearly and in line with international standards, notably to provide for adequate administrative procedures for registration of civil status acts which were fulfilled in the temporarily occupied territories and review the restrictive approach concerning the recognition of academic certificates, degrees, and titles issued in those territories;
  • to reflect the special constitutional status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol in the draft law.

Related: Ukraine prepares 24 cases concerning Donbas, Crimea for the International Criminal Court, - Prosecutor General

In August 2021, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has published the text of the bill #5844 on the transition period in occupied Donbas and annexed Crimea.

The project proposes to divide the regulation into conflict and post-conflict periods, which will determine a certain algorithm of state actions during the reintegration of the temporarily occupied (de-occupied) territories and their inhabitants.




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