Venice Commission doesn’t know how to react to the draft law on the opposition


The Venice Commission has postponed until the June plenary session considering Ukraine’s draft law on the parliamentary opposition.

This was announced at a session of the Verkhovna Rada by State Deputy from Nasha Ukraina Serhiy Holovaty who is one of the Vice-Chairs of the Ukrainian Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

He explained that the expert analysis of the draft law “is teeming with expressions like “not customary for European democracy”, “not customary for international comparative law”. Mr Holovaty believes that the postponement is due to the fact that there is no European country with a similar law for regulating the status of the parliamentary opposition, and if it gave a positive assessment, this would “create a precedent”.

He added that the European parliamentary tradition has developed in such a way that the opposition, its status, rights and possibilities are regulated by the provisions of the Constitution and by procedural rules for parliamentarians. Most importantly, however, in European countries all of this is the result of historical, political, social and cultural factors, and of agreement between the ruling coalition and the opposition.

Serhiy Holovaty believes the formalizing of the institution of parliamentary opposition to be highly dubious, particularly because of the violation of the rights of State Deputies to have a free mandate and not belong to either the opposition or the coalition.

He mentioned that the Venice Commission had given positive assessments of the draft laws “On amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On the judicial system of Ukraine” and “On amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On the status of judges”. He said that they believed them to be considerably better than the present legislation. The main conclusion, he added, was that the basic norms in these draft laws comply with European standards. They also praise the fact that on the basis of the two draft laws, the profile parliamentary committee is to draw up one.

He mentioned also that the Venice Commission is recommending that Ukraine continue judicial reform specifically on the basis of these two draft laws.

Consideration of the two draft laws mentioned was on the agenda for 20 March however it was postponed at the President’s request.

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