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Ukraine further improves rules of criminal procedure to eliminate unlawful pressure on business

04/ 11/ 2018
  The Law No. 2548-VIII dated 18.09.2018 On Amending Criminal Procedure Code Regarding Improvement of Ensuring Rights of Participants of Criminal Proceedings and other Persons by Law Enforcement Authorities In the Course of Conducting Pre-Trial Investigations (the “Law”) entered into effect on 4 November 2018. By adopting the Law the Ukrainian Parliament has taken a further step to prevent unlawful pressure on business by Ukrainian law enforcement authorities after the initial amendments to Code of Criminal Procedure in 2017. The Law enhances civil liability of law enforcement officers and judges for committing criminally punishable offences in the course of criminal proceedings (e.g. abuse of authority). In particular, the Law allows the state to collect from law enforcement officers and judges the damages paid out by the state to the victims of the respective offences. In addition, the Law aims to extinguish the existing practice of prolonged duration and abusive reopening of criminal proceedings. In particular, the Law requires the prosecutor or investigator to close criminal proceedings if there are already closed criminal proceedings with respect to the same actions. The Law grants the right to submit motion on closure of proceedings based on that ground to any person whose rights are affected by ongoing criminal proceedings. If such motion is rejected, these persons can now challenge such rejection at the court. Further, the law allows any person whose rights are affected by ongoing criminal proceedings to request the court to close criminal proceedings upon expiry of the maximum term for pre-trial investigation (e.g. 12-18 months between opening of proceedings and service of a suspect notice on any particular person). The Law follows the footsteps of the 2017 legislative amendments by further limiting the ability of law enforcement authorities to exert pressure on business. Similarly to the 2017 amendments, the Law is expected to have positive impact on easing tensions between business community and law enforcement authorities. For further information, please contact authors of this publication. Legislation: The Law No. 2548-VIII dated 18.09.2018 On Amending Criminal Procedure Code Regarding Improvement of Ensuring Rights of Participants of Criminal Proceedings and other Persons by Law Enforcement Authorities In the Course of Conducting Pre-Trial Investigations. Authors: Olexander Martinenko, Senior Partner, olexander.martinenko@cms-cmno.com Olga Shenk, Senior Associate, olga.shenk@cms-cmno.com    Vladyslav Kurylko, Associate, vladyslav.kurylko@cms-cmno.com

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