President's aid Andriy Portnov declared that current Code is morally and technically outdated and does not provide observance of human's rights and freedoms; hence it must be replaced with a new one, which would be based on a pleading principle, not accusation.
Portnov also noted that almost all amendments from Council of Europe experts were taken into account.
ForUm asked experts and politicians to explain and to compare the Criminal Procedure Code of 1960 and the new one submitted by the President:
Oleksandr Lavrynovych, Justice Minister of Ukraine:
- We don't need any amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code, we need to change it 100%. This is the case when we should not repair, but to demolish and build a new thing. The new Code is on the website of the parliament.
We can put two Codes together and compare - they are different as an abyss and Everest.
Yuri Boichenko, spokesman of Prosecutor's General Office:
- New Code is a requirement of time. The current one is outdated. The current Code contains a pleading principle, but still not at the European level.
The new Code will bring Ukraine in line with European and world law standards.
Valery Bevz, MP, head of the parliamentary committee on fight against organized crime and corruption:
Obviously the Criminal Procedure Code of 1960 does no follow modern processes. The new Code provides many innovations.
For example, now not only a prosecutor or investigator will determine what is a proof and what is not. Now a prosecutor will go to court with his proofs and a defense lawyer with his. And only a court will determine whose materials are proofs.
In addition, new Code eliminates such notion as additional investigation. There can be only two decisions on a criminal case: guilty verdict or sentence of acquittal.
The new Code also reduces the period of investigation. It is unacceptable when tens of thousands of people are kept in pre-trial prisons for nine months or even for five years.
The new Code extends the notions of home arrest, according to which it would be possible to monitor a person with the help of electronic devices - special bracelets on arms.
Don't forget that new Coe is not only a requirement of time, but of the Constitution as well.
What I've just said is registered theoretically. Now it's up to the parliament to decide how it will be in practice.
Rostislav Kravetsk, a lawyer in a legal firm:
- The current Criminal Procedure Code is definitely outdated. The new Code provides for many innovations, the procedure of bringing a criminal case has been changed, terms of investigation are stricter, but the rights of victims and defendants are again left behind.
The rights of defense lawyers have not been considered in details. If the primary version of the draft bill took into account such nuances, the one submitted to the parliament ignores them completely. Hence, the work of defense lawyers won't change much.
Speaking from experience, I want to say that the problem is not in perfection or flaws, but in a discipline of observing the laws. Representatives of the state quite often do not follow the law at all.
Eduard Bagirov, lawyer, head of the public council under Interior Ministry:
- The old Criminal Procedure Code reflects the times of USSR. Hence we must change not separate norms, but the whole Code.
In general the Code is positive, but it still has some moments, which must be revised. In this connection the relevant parliamentary committee will hold hearings with participation of public organizations and lawyers. I think that after collective work this draft bill will have a right for adoption.
I stand for the idea to adopt a new Code once and for all, so we don't pass any amendments in a year or two. We must polish this law to have it untouched for quite a while.
Kyryl Kulikov, MP, former head of Interpol office in Ukraine:
- New Criminal Procedure Code must be worked out by experts, who have thirty-forty years of experience.
As a politician I can say that the new Code put citizens under unequal conditions before court. The new Code still carry old relations among defense lawyer, prosecutor, investigator and so on.
Then, it is necessary to clear out the order of jury trials. As far as I remember the new Code provides for convocation of jury only for especially grave crimes. It is also needed to define the status of judges. What kind of judges do we have? Gods?
As for decriminalization, now if people steal from the budget, they are fined and then can go. How can it be? Corruption is corruption, and it must be punished.
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