The plan remains laudable


The Ministry of Justice has again posted information about plans to remove the stamps “Not to be printed” and “Not to be published” from Cabinet of Ministers Resolutions and Instructions issued between 1991 and 2005.  Since we first reported this admirable intention, in January, a draft instruction of the Cabinet of Ministers has been drawn up. The numbers are also more specific, with the stamp “Not to be printed” to be removed from 1009 Cabinet of Ministers Acts and “Not to be published” from seven others.

They apparently pertain to design of special technology; material reserves; export of commodities; fighting illegal migration; supportat the State border and near it, and others.

The Minister of Justice Mykola Onishchuk informs that overall between 1991 and 2005 the Cabinet of Ministers issued 1410 resolutions and instructions with the stamps restricting access “Not to be printed” and “Not to be published”, these stamps not being allowed for anywhere in Ukrainian legislation, and therefore in contravention of the Constitution, the Law on Information and the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Minister also states that 286 of the acts mentioned will have the above mentioned stamps removed, however will still not be available to public scrutiny with another stamp “For official use only” being used instead.  Almost all these acts deal with defence and security or contain issues relating to economic competition.  A further 100 acts have simply ceased to be valid.  

Given the extent of repetition in the above, we will also repeat our comment that KHPG and other human rights groups have also expressed concern about the use of the stamp “For official use only”.  This may, in contrast to the first two, be envisaged by legislation, however the question remains as to whether removing such acts from public scrutiny is warranted. 

Mr Onishchuk states that he expects the relevant instruction to be passed to the Cabinet of Ministers for their review in the near future.

From information posted at

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