In Ukraine, the law on the Ombudsman will be changed: ZMINA joined the drafting of the law

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On April 9, in Kyiv, the Office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights held an expert discussion of the draft law, which will amend the profile law on the Ombudsman. Human Rights Centre ZMINA also joined the drafting of the law and its discussion.

The amendments were developed jointly by a working group, which included international experts, people’s deputies of Ukraine and public representatives.

The proposed amendments should bring the legislation on the Ombudsman into line with the recommendations of the Council of Europe.

In addition, according to the Office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner Dmytro Lubinets, a total of 24 codes and laws of Ukraine are proposed to be amended. Among other things, the draft law provides for an updated procedure for nominating candidates for the Ombudsman’s position, including lowering the age limit for candidates for the position of Ombudsman, and eliminating conflicts in the legislation on secret and open voting procedures. Also, the draft law will change the organisational structure of the Secretariat, expand the mandate in the conditions of martial law, introduce the positions of deputies of the Commissioner by areas and representatives of the Commissioner in the regions.

“Amendments to the law on the Ombudsman are very important, because Ukraine has been receiving recommendations from international partners for a long time, in particular, that this law should finally comply with the Venice and Paris principles. A new candidate selection procedure, namely a competitive one with the involvement of a commission, is also written in this draft law, and this is an important innovation. The financial independence of the institution is also strengthened, that is, the budget reduction of the Office of the Ombudsman is made impossible”, the advocacy manager of Human Rights Centre ZMINA, Alena Lunova said.

Lunova also adds that the draft law will strengthen the capabilities of the Ombudsman within the scope of the work of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM). This means that the employees of places of detention will bear greater responsibility for not allowing NPM representatives to inspections. In addition, the Ukrainian Ombudsman will deal with the protection of children’s rights at the legislative level, which was de facto done by the Ombudsman’s Office even before this, but it was not enshrined in law.

As the head of ZMINA Tetiana Pechonchyk comments, the developed amendments correspond to the recommendations that human rights organisations have been proposing for many years. Pechonchyk also reported that within two weeks, the Commissioner should present the text of draft laws for public discussion, and after the adoption of proposals from the public and amendments, the draft laws will be registered in the parliament.

Detailed information about the draft law, which will change the profile law on the Ombudsman, you can read in the ZMINA material.