Ukrainian government to suggest bill limiting arbitrary actions against businesses

On 8 November 2017 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (CMU) approved the Draft Law "On Introducing Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts Aimed at Preventing Pressure of Law Enforcement Bodies on Business" (the "Draft Law"). This is aimed at preventing undue pressure being exercised by, and abusive practices of, law enforcement agencies in the course of criminal investigations. The Draft Law is to be introduced as a bill to the Parliament.

The Draft Law was elaborated with due consideration of recommendations set out in the Systemic Report of the Business Ombudsman Council 2016 – "Abuse of Powers by the Law Enforcement Authorities in Their Relations with Business" – and will be available on the CMU’s website shortly.

The Draft Law is aimed to introduce a number of important safeguards for businesses against arbitrary treatment by law enforcement agencies, including:

  • Mandatory video and audio recordings of searches
  • Inadmissibility of evidence collected in the course of searches without proper recording
  • Inadmissibility of evidence collected in the course of searches where an advocate was barred access
  • General prohibition of seizure of computer hardware, servers, mobile telephones and originals of the financial documentation of businesses
  • Prohibition on reopening of criminal proceedings on the basis of facts which earlier served as the grounds for initiating the closed criminal proceedings
  • Any person which brings a criminal complaint to a law enforcement body is entitled to receive a confirmation of opening the criminal file within 24 hours of complaint
  • Establishing a Commission, which will issue recommendations to law enforcement bodies.

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