Business Ombudsman Council Calls For Radical Reform (Kyiv Post)

According to a new report by the Business Ombudsman Council, abuses and pressure by law enforcement on Ukrainian businesses remain too high and a series of legal reforms must be brought forward to eradicate the problems which negatively affect the health of the economy.
The report investigated a range of cases where serious failures, mistakes and abuses of power were recorded. The council, newly headed by Canadian former diplomat Roman Waschuk, makes a slew of recommendations for root and branch reform of policing and justice in the business sphere.
Among the most notable proposals are for legal changes which would prevent, “victim’s and suspect’s access to certain information about pre-trial investigations,” and to prevent “groundless refusals to launch criminal proceedings,” the report says.
Further, the investigation also criticised cases of “groundless retention of arrested property,” and numerous examples of “repeated and unwarranted arrests.”
The council also says the disciplinary liability of investigators should be modified to ensure there is more accountability for decisions made, which in some of the worst cases, can unfairly cause serious harm to legitimate enterprises.
The Business Ombudsman Council, an initiative of the Ministry of Economy, was established in 2014, to ensure effective communication between business and government and improve legislation in the realm of business.
Since its inception, the council, which is a permanent advisory body to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, has considered over 10,000 complaints from companies alleging abuses of power from government agencies and helped businesses recover more than Hr 19.5 billion.
Read the publication here.

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