Digests

Suspension of Chairperson of CCU, new lockdown rules, and humanitarian aid from Ukraine: decisions by President and Cabinet

During the last two weeks of New Year celebrations, the Cabinet and the President made a number of important decisions that will influence the life of Ukrainian citizens, businesses, local governments, and government bodies.


Chairperson of Constitutional Court suspended

Decision-maker: the President.

Who is affected: the Chairperson of the Constitutional Court Oleksandr Tupytskyi, other judges of the CCU, the President, the Parliament, and Ukrainian citizens.

What does it change: Oleksandr Tupytskyi is suspended as the judge of the Constitutional Court for two months.

Why this is important: the President made his decision upon receiving a formal request from prosecutors of the Prosecutor General’s Office. Oleksandr Tupytskyi is suspected of tampering with a witness and perjury.

What is wrong:

  • the Constitution provisions that a judge of the Constitutional Court could be either dismissed or removed from their position. There is no option to suspend a judge of the CCU
  • according to the CCU, the President has no authority to suspend judges of the Constitutional Court
  • the Constitution and the laws guarantee the independence and legal immunity for judges of the CCU. Any legal pressure on judges of the CCU, including detention, arrest, or prosecution, can be applied only with consent from the CCU.

Alternative solution: judges of the CCU can dismiss Oleksandr Tupytskyi for a major disciplinary offense. That is why the Prosecutor General’s Office has to cooperate with the CCU and provide conclusive evidence that the Chairperson of the CCU is guilty.


Lockdown rules changed

Decision-maker: the Cabinet.

Who is affected: Ukrainian citizens, businesses, employers, employees, government bodies, and local governments.

What does it change:

  • a ban on selling household chemicals in supermarkets is lifted
  • waste management companies are allowed to continue their work
  • a special procedure is introduced on coronavirus testing for persons entering Ukraine from the temporarily occupied territories.

What is wrong:

  • the Government has no authority to impose such restrictions. According to the Constitution, the constitutional rights of the citizens can be temporarily restricted either by a law or under the emergency state
  • changes to lockdown regulations has been made three days before their introduction. Businesses and citizens did not know what to expect until the last moment
  • the President acknowledged that the new rules had not been properly communicated to the public and, ignoring the Constitution, ordered the Cabinet to make a detailed presentation on the introduced restrictions.


Ukraine provides humanitarian aid to Croatia

Decision-maker: the President.

Who is affected: government bodies of the Republic of Croatia, the Cabinet, the Ministry of Finances, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

What does it change:

  • the resolution provisions to provide ₴20 mln of humanitarian aid to the Republic of Croatia
  • the Cabinet is supposed to allocate the necessary funding from the government budget.

Why this is importanton December 29, 2020, Croatia was shaken by an earthquake: one person was killed, significant damage was done to buildings and property.

What is rightaid to foreign countries in need is an element of diplomacy and international politics.

What is wrong:

  • although the President is responsible for the international activities of the state, a decision on providing humanitarian aid depends on the government budget. Thus, such a decision should be made by the Cabinet. The President cannot spend funds from the government budget or order the Cabinet to do so
  • separation of powers between parliament and president is established by the Constitution and always leads to a conflict. Competition between these two highest government bodies can cause a political crisis damaging to the country.


Technical regulations on fireworks approved

Decision-maker: the Cabinet.

Who is affected: businesses, Ukrainian citizens, and law enforcement agencies.

What does it change:

  • new classification of fireworks is introduced: from low-hazard fireworks with insignificant noise level to pyrotechnical products allowed for use only by persons with special training
  • age restrictions are introduced for selling fireworks: class one — to children of 12 years or more, second — 16+, third — 18+
  • regulations on using the fireworks are defined, in particular, safe distance from people and noise level, ingredients, ignition mechanisms, and safeguards against accidental ignition
  • the resolution will go into effect in 12 months after its publication.

What is right: stricter rules on using pyrotechnical products will make Ukrainian streets safer.

What is wrong:

  • fireworks are dangerous to both people and animals. Every year hundreds of birds die from pyrotechnic products
  • the resolution will go into effect in 12 months after publication, i.e. on January 5, 2022 — after the New Year festivities when most of the fireworks are used
  • many Ukrainian cities have banned the use of fireworks after the occupation of Crimea and a part of Eastern Ukraine. Without the necessary legislation, though, police cannot punish for violating these rules.