KYIV, Ukraine, September 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Europe welcomed changes in Ukrainian criminal justice legislation, stated the Head of the Delegation of the EU to Ukraine Jan Tombinski while meeting the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Viktor Pshonka. The changes were brought about by the new Criminal Code, which is part of the judicial reform in Ukraine. The document provides for equal opportunities for each party in the criminal proceedings, for proceedings to be based on the principle of competitiveness, introduces the jury court, and limits the use of penalties of imprisonment.
Tombinski said that Europe was carefully watching the reform process in Ukraine, including the reforms in the field of criminal justice. New Ukrainian Criminal Code was developed in accordance with European standards, the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights and is based on the principles of humanism and human dignity. The new piece of legislation is expected to contribute to the decrease of the amount of guilty judgments in Ukraine (in 2011, 0.2 percent of criminal cases had not guilty judgment).
The Criminal Code introduces unified register of preliminary investigations and contains carefully thought-out norms in juvenile justice. In July 2012, Regina Jensdottir, the Head of the Children's Rights Policy Division, Council of Europe, acknowledged Ukraine's progress in reforming the criminal law.
Adopted in May 2012, the new Code comes into force on November 1, 2012. The new legal document broadens investigation opportunities and ensures proceedings are not delayed. Currently, Ukraine uses Code adopted in 2001. In order to implement the new Code, the country's parliament would have to amend nearly 300 laws, noted the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych in May of 2012.
In order to improve the functioning of the country's justice system, a judicial reform limited the duration of the court proceedings, provided for salary increase for judges, improved their legal status, and introduced random assigning of a case to a judge.
Additionally, Ukrainian parliament is on its way to adopt draft law regulating prosecution. The document would allow for limiting the rights of a prosecutor, preventing the violation of human rights. The draft law provides an exhaustive list of reasons for examination, strips prosecutors of the right to issue orders and start disciplinary proceedings.
SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine