The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine made a first step to the changing of the Constitution towards the lifting of the MPs immunity. 336 MPs supported the presidential draft law and 328 MPs supported the MP draft law.
It was broadcasted by 112 Ukraine.
The MPs included the draft laws #7203 and #6773 on the agenda of the session and submitted them to the conclusion of the Constitution Court. 226 were necessary to do this.
The presidential draft law provides the amending of article 80 of the Constitution of Ukraine. Particularly, the name of the article ‘MPs of Ukraine are guaranteed the immunity’ is removed as well as the norm that provides ‘MPs of Ukraine cannot be prosecuted, detained or arrested without permission of the Verkhovna Rada’.
However, the other norm of the article will continue to act: the MPs will not be judicially liable for the result of the voting or statements in the parliament and its bodies, excluding the liability for offence or defamation.
The changes should come into force on January 1, 2020.
The meaning of the MPs draft law is the same but it provides the entry into force since 2018.
The Constitution of Ukraine and Regulation of the Verkhovna Rada determine the order of changing the main law in Ukraine.
Only the president or 150 MPs can register the proper draft law. The document will be considered by the committees of the Verkhovna Rada and then they will recommend the parliamentarians to consider the legislation initiatives or not.
If the issue is not about the questions that need the referendum to solve them then the project of the amending to the Constitution should get at least 226 votes to submit it for the consideration of the Constitution Court of Ukraine.
The Constitution Court of Ukraine should publish the conclusion whether the initiative contradicts the articles 157 and 158 of the Constitution or not. Does it restricts the rights and liberties of a human or not; does it aim for changing for liquidation of the independence or territorial integrity or not; does it change the terms of the martial law or emergency state; did the parliament consider such changes during the year or not and did Rada of the current call change the same norms or not.
The Constitution does not provide the terms for the Constitution Court to publish the conclusion.
Only after this the MPs can preliminary support the draft law and 226 votes will be enough. The MPs will be able to adopt the draft law at the whole only the next session but they will need at least 300 votes.
The adopted on such procedure law should be signed by the speaker of the Ukrainian parliament and the president. The document will come into force only after the publication in the official edition.
Consequently, if all these stages pass maximally quickly, the document will be adopted not earlier than on February 2018.
If the procedure delays until the election of the next call to the Verkhovna Rada then the MPs will not be able to continue the procedure. They will be obliged to start it from the very beginning. The proper changes were adopted in January 2016.