IMI Lawyer: Bondarenko-Landyk Bill should not have been registered
Institute for Mass Information lawyer, Roman Holovenko believes that the draft law “On amendments to some legal acts on ensuring access to public information” No. 7321 from 2 November should not have been registered as it is effectively proposing an alternative bill to the two draft laws presently tabled in parliament. As reported, two Party of the Regions National Deputies – Olena Bondarenko and Volodymyr Landyk – are proposing that parliament adopts not the draft Law on Access to Public Information, but draft amendments to a number of current laws which, they claim, will ensure access to information. Despite repeated promises to the Council of Europe, the last vote on the vital draft Law on Access to Public Information, on 21 October this year, failed because only one Party of the Regions Deputy voted for it.
According to Roman Holovenko, the Bondarenko-Landyk Bill regulates the same issues as the bills tabled by Head of the parliamentary committee on freedom of speech, Andriy Shevchenko [BYuT) with the exception of accreditation which is a mere 10% of the draft law. The regulations are clear with regard to tabling alternative draft laws, with this not being permitted after the first reading.
Since the draft Law on Access to Public Information has already been adopted in its first reading, the Bondarenko-Landyk bill should not have been registered.
The draft Law was scheduled for consideration by the Verkhovna Rada on 2 November. When asked about its disappearance by Andriy Shevchenko, Speaker of Parliament Volodymyr Lytvyn asked for some other amendments by a Party of the Regions MP Edward Pavlenko to be taken into consideration. He was informed that these had been considered by the committee and then referred, as did Volodymyr Landyk, to objections from a representative of the Human Rights Ombudsperson. It is entirely unclear what these objections are.
Media experts, who, together with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and many Ukrainian NGOs, have called for the adoption of the Law on Access to Public Information, view with concern apparent efforts to stall progress on this vital issue.
Roman Holovenko’s comments reported by Telekritika