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The imposition of martial law should not violate the general principle of the rule of law in Ukraine

On April 22-23, Valentyn Gvozdiy, the Managing Partner at GOLAW, was invited to speak at the conference held by the European Criminal Bar Association (ECBA) on the peculiarities of the criminal process in Ukraine under martial, as well as following the general principle of the rule of law.

As of now, a special manner of criminal proceedings under martial law established by the recent legislation involves a significant increase in the procedural capacity of the prosecution.

Inter alia, the prosecutor has the right to choose and change a measure of restraint in the form of detention, decide on issues related to the implementation of the case; temporary access to things and documents; seizure of property; granting permission to enter a person’s home or other property; granting a search permit; permission to conduct a covert investigative (search) action; extend the pre-trial investigation, etc.

I should note that attorneys highly criticized such novelties. In our opinion, the introduced changes may lead to violation of the rights of the suspect and accused.

Furthermore, the attorneys assess quite risky a new norm to the Criminal Procedure Code which states that complaints against decisions, actions, or omissions of the prosecutor may be considered only after the pre-trial investigation has been completed.

As a result, there are no opportunities to restore the violated rights and freedoms of persons prosecuted at the stage of pre-trial investigation. It means that adequate protection against procedural violations of prosecutors is not possible anymore.

To summarize, it should be mentioned that all these changes are quite justified in the current situation.

I hope that the prosecution will objectively and impartially perform its temporary duties under martial law and will not restrict the rights of suspects (accused), following the general principle of the rule of law

Valentyn summed up

Valentyn Gvozdiy

Valentyn Gvozdiy

Managing Partner, Attorney at law, PhD

  • Recognitions
  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2021
  • Best Lawyers in Ukraine 2022
  • Who’s Who Legal 2021
  • Ukrainian Law firms. A Handbook for Foreign Clients 2021
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