Kyiv: The Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine (CPC) was discussed at a conference organized by the EU Consultative Mission (CMES) on 22 November 2017 in Kyiv, in particular, ways to improve it and to improve the effectiveness of investigations, while respecting human rights.
The current version of the Criminal Procedure Code was adopted five years ago to replace the code of the 1960 edition. The current CPC became an important step in the reform, marking a departure from Soviet practice. However, according to many Ukrainian legal experts, legislators, as well as experts of CMES, the current code requires changes.
The CMES calls for simplification of certain procedures, as well as to reduce bureaucracy, to shift more responsibility to individual investigative and prosecutors. Among the proposals of the mission: uniting the functions of investigators and investigators, is standard practice in the EU countries, as well as the use of pre-trial testimony in court in case of conflicting evidence. In addition, the CMES calls for the introduction of anonymous witness systems in cases where there is a significant threat to the life of the witness, as well as take measures to improve the investigation of cyber crimes.
Particular attention in the proposals of CMES in the CPC is given to the rights of victims. The mission proposes to create at the level of the law a category of "vulnerable victims" that will enable them to count on better protection, including in order to minimize potential psychological trauma. In addition, it is proposed to provide an effective model of compensation to the victims.
"It is clear that the Criminal Procedure Code should be changed. But any changes should be introduced transparently, with the support of experts and the public," said Joël Vater, deputy chairman of the CMES - “Open dialogue will ensure the consistency of the proposed amendments and take into account different approaches to the CCP. We hope that the conference organized by us together with the Verkhovna Rada Committee on ensuring the activities of law enforcement agencies plays an important role in achieving consistency and transparency."