Venice Commission president slams Constitutional Court decision on declarations

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President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio has called regrettable the decision by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to declare unconstitutional Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code, which provides for punishment for false declaration of assets by public officials.

According to Ukrinform, Buquicchio wrote this on Twitter.

“Ukrainian Constitutional Court decision [on the article that envisages punishment for lies in asset declarations] is ‘regrettable’,” he wrote.

    Ukrainian Constitutional Court decision is “regrettable”; financial declarations system for public officials, including judges, must be kept. https://t.co/SyvUiFeBkS
    — Gianni Buquicchio (@giannibuquicch1) December 10, 2020

He also added that the financial declarations system for public officials, including judges, must be kept.

Earlier, the Venice Commission responded to a request from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky regarding the powers of anti-corruption bodies, stating that the verification of judges’ asset declarations is a common international practice and should be regulated by national legislation.

On October 27, the Constitutional Court repealed Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code on penalties for lies in asset declarations and some provisions of the law “On Corruption Prevention.” In particular, the Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional the powers of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) to verify officials’ asset declarations, monitor the lifestyle of those who submit asset declarations, establish the timeliness of submission of asset declarations, as well as provisions on open access to declarations in the single state register.

In this regard, President Volodymyr Zelensky held a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council on October 29 to determine measures for the state’s immediate response to new threats and challenges to national security and defense. The decision was made at the meeting to reopen public access to the unified state register of asset declarations and ensure the holding of special verifications by the NACP.

On November 17, Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Olena Kondratiuk signed an order on the establishment of a working group on legislative support for effective activities in the field of corruption prevention and improvement of legislative regulation of certain aspects of the Constitutional Court’s work. Verkhovna Rada Chairman Dmytro Razumkov proposed creating such a working group.

© 2020 Ukrinform News

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