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UHHRU calls the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for to return for amendments the Draft Law No 7163 “On the peculiarities of state policy on the restoration of the state sovereignty of Ukraine over temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts”

On 4 October 2017, upon the initiative of the President, the Draft Law of Ukraine No. 7163 “On the peculiarities of state policy on the restoration of the state sovereignty of Ukraine over temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts” (http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb2/webproc4_1?pf3511=62638) was registered in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. The Draft Law was scheduled on the Parliament’s agenda as urgent and was intended for consideration by the Committee on Security and Defense on 5 October 2017.

On 6 October 2017, the Draft Law passed first reading and was returned to the appointed Committee for amendment.

By 24 October 2017, around 700 amendments had been proposed.

On 17 November 2017, the appointed Committee approved for second reading the final text of the Draft Law, which was published on Verkhovna Rada’s website no sooner than on 19 December 2017. The appointed Committee formed a closed working group for considering the amendments without their authors. The group’s work resulted in a conclusion as to which amendments should be accepted or dismissed that was referred to the Presidential Administration for approval along with the text of the Draft Law. After the Administration’s approval, on 16-17 November 2017, in violation of Verkhovna Rada’s regulations, the Committee voted clause-by-clause on the amendments accepted in the working group’s conclusion instead of considering and voting on each amendment.

On 27 November 2017, UHHRU, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group and Media Initiative for Human Rights published a petition to return the Draft Law No. 7163 for amendment due to a number of serious flaws, namely:

  1. Selective general approach to the observance and fulfillment of obligations in the field of international humanitarian law.
  2. Absence of of minimum responsibilities for the protection of civilians under dangerous conditions in accordance with international obligations.
  3. Absence of general rules for the protection of ‘the protected persons’ in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.
  4. Absence of a clear procedure for determining the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
  5. Inappropriate inclusion of certain norms that do not relate to the conflict resolution.
  6. Inadmissibility of the procedure for recognition of the documents issued in the so-called DPR/LPR.
  7. Existence of legal conflicts between this draft law and related legislation concerning occupied Crimea.

Detailed analysis of the aforesaid shortcomings is given here.

Moreover, this document is lacking a balance between measures necessary to protect civilians and defense of the national geopolitical interests.

The Draft Law is scheduled for the second reading on 16 January 2018.

Since these flaws have not been addressed and due to serious violations of Verkhovna Rada’s regulations, UHHRU calls the MPs for to return the Draft Law for amendments, taking into account all the above-mentioned shortcomings, or discard it in its entirety.

 

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