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22 October 2014

Lustration Law Took Effect in Ukraine on 16 October 2014

Between the effective date of the Law and 26 October 2014|1| a large scale dismissal campaign within the government should be launched and completed. The campaign will affect people who were in eligible public office for more than one year during the period from 25 February 2010 to 22 February 2014, i.e. during the time in office of Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s former President.  A 10 year lustration ban on holding public office will apply to these officials and to other eligible individuals who were discharged from the government service before the enactment of the Law.

The list of blacklisted offices includes heads of law enforcement and governmental authorities on local, regional and central levels, including the former President himself. The measure will not affect judges.

Judges and all other governmental officials and law enforcement officers not included in the black list of those who are subject to automatic lustration, will have to file a statement of compliance/incompliance with the lustration criteria by the set deadline. The deadlines vary for each category of officials, and the highest ranking officials will have to file their statements first. The government estimates that the process of filing the lustration statements will span over the period of two years.

Dismissal and 10 year lustration ban apply to anyone who:

  • admitted incompliance with the lustration criteria, 
  • is proved to be caught by any of the lustration criteria, or
  • missed the deadline for the filing of the lustration statement.

Results of the lustration audit may be challenged in court. However, the Law does not recognize this challenge as a ground for suspension of the lustration process.

Lustration Criteria

The lustration authority, within two months upon commencement of the lustration audit, must verify if a person:

  • held eligible leadership positions with the Communist Party or Komsomol, a youth arm of the Communist Party, during the Soviet times, or
  • held eligible positions with the Soviet security agencies, or
  • cooperated with Soviet security agencies as a 'silent' agent, or  
  • obtained a degree from a former Soviet KGB educational institution, or
  • complied with the asset declaration requirements for the reporting period from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013.

Failure to pass these tests results in a public officer’s dismissal and imposition on him or her of a 10 year lustration ban.

Exemptions

Automatic dismissal and lustration ban do not apply if a person:

  • held an eligible position for less than a year;
  • resigned from office voluntarily during the period from 21 November 2013 to 22 February 2014, i.e. during the public unrest in Kiev;
  • is officially recognized as participant of the anti-terrorist operation in the East of the country.

The incumbent President of Ukraine, members of Parliament, other elected officers, including candidates for an elected office, and judges of the Constitutional Court are exempted from lustration and from the lustration audit.

Lustration Authorities

The Security Service of Ukraine is a competent lustration authority in respect of all lustration criteria save for the last one.

The Fiscal Authority of Ukraine is a competent lustration authority in respect of the assets based lustration criterion.

The Law does not provide for the establishment of an independent body responsible for the lustration of the officials working for the Security Service and the Fiscal Authority.

For further information, please contact Leonid Antonenko  or Tatyana Slipachuk.

 


|1|26 October 2014 is day of a snap election of the Ukrainian Parliament.

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