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Amendments to the “Savchenko’s Law” Can Really Work only for “Newcomers” Detained after its Entry into Force


Iryna Kuzina,  Attorney at law, Head of Kharkiv office at Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm
Source:  The Yurydychna Praktyka

Boryslav Bereza and Igor Lutsenko proposed to introduce amendments to the “Savchenko’s law”. The draft law “On amendments to the Criminal Code of Ukraine (regarding improvement of the procedure for counting by the court of the term of pre-trial detention in the term of sentence)”, No. 4032, which was registered by these people’s deputies, proposes to exclude application of the “Savchenko’s law” to the persons who serve their sentence (or are suspected) of committing grave and especially grave crimes.

Iryna Kuzina, attorney at law, Head of Kharkiv office of Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm, analyzed the next proposed amendments for the Yurydychna Praktyka:

“Adoption of draft law No. 4032 will aggravate illogic of the “Savchenko’s law”, one might say, will create a paradox “at a quadruple rate”.

As I said earlier, by adoption of the “Savchenko’s law” our government recognized the pre-trial detention conditions inappropriate, i.e. recognized violation by it of Article 3 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in relation to almost every person in custody until the court verdict. This law (according to the explanatory note to the draft law) was intended to reduce such violation in time. In my opinion, these measures are quite insufficient for observation of Article 3 of the Convention by Ukraine.

Now, by adoption of the draft law No. 4032 the state seems to be saying: “Well, the suspects and the accused of grave and especially grave crimes may put up with inhuman conditions”. It was before the court brought in the verdict of guilty. Does it comply with the Convention and case law of the European Court? It does not comply even more.

Why the criterion of gravity of alleged crime was chosen? For example, the legislation on amnesty, in particular, the Law of Ukraine “On amnesty in Ukraine” establishes more individualized criteria – considers repeated relapse into crime, punitive measure, elements of crime especially dangerous for the society, etc.

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