Cabinet of Ministers sets to dissolving Morality Commission
The Cabinet of Ministers is proposing to remove from the current Law on the Protection of Public Morality the provision regarding the status and principles for the work of the National Expert Commission on the Protection of Public Morality. The Justice Ministry informs on its site that the relevant draft law was drawn up by the Ministry and approved during the latest Cabinet of Ministers meeting on 10 May.
That same day the Government’s draft law on amendments to the Public Morality Act was registered in the Verkhovna Rada as № 10447.
According to the Justice Ministry’s report, the new draft law is based on the fact that the powers of the Morality Commission in practice duplicate the functions of the Ministry of Culture, the State Television and Radio Broadcasting Committee and the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council.
The draft law also sets down that State supervision over observance of the Public Morality Act and legislation related to the protection of public morality are, within the framework of their competence, carried out by central executive bodies ensuring formation and implementation of state policy in the information and publishing spheres, culture, healthcare, education, science, customs, the Ministry of the Interior, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council
The draft law on dissolving the Morality Commission had been in limbo since January 2011. It followed the Presidential Decree from 9 December 2010 and laid the responsibility for drawing up the relevant draft law with the Justice Ministry.
This follows what appeared to be very serious efforts to push forward amendments to the Public Morality Act which would have seriously extended the Commission’s powers.. This draft law № 7132, was passed at its first reading on 18 October 2011. It was however opposed not only by media and human rights organisations, but also various state bodies.
It is not quite clear what has brought about this change.