Extraordinary Measures To Fight Coronavirus May Be Too Extraordinary, Argues Lawyer
20 March, 2020

The Ukrainian parliament passed a wide-ranging coronavirus bill on March 17, with the aim of regulating the coronavirus pandemic in the country. But the law introduced a rather controversial concept – fines for people who break quarantine. 

READ MORE: Ukraine’s Parliament Adopts Coronavirus Law in Emergency Session

And these fines, said lawyer for the Center for Policy and Liberal Reforms Eugene Krapyvin during a recent airing of the Weekly Wrap-Up, may be too restrictive.

“I think these fines are really big and they’re unproportional to other offenses we have in the [Administrative] Code,” said the lawyer. He pointed out that the fines can range up to 500 euros, in a country where the median salary in 2019 was approximately 343 euros.

“I think it’s not unconstitutional, but when the [pandemic] ends, we should reduce this as an extraordinary measure,” commented Krapyvin. 

He also criticized the recent suggestion, by Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, to allow President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to declare a state of emergency in the country without parliamentary approval.

READ MORE: The Cabinet Wants To Give Zelenskyy Emergency Powers. What Does That Mean?

“To make amendments to this state of emergency, we should not just change the law, but also change the constitution…the explanation that Denys Shmyhal, the Prime Minister of Ukraine, said, that it was for an emergency situation where the [Ukrainian parliament] will not be able to gather – it’s not the right explanation, because you need to make amendments to the Constitution,” Krapyvin pointed out, adding that without a constitutional amendment, that proposed law would be unconstitutional.

“It will not be a real bill and it will not be registered in Parliament,” affirmed the lawyer.

And as for the risk of parliament no longer meeting – Dmytro Razumkov, the parliamentary chairman, earlier stated in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine that he believes that Parliament will still be working, though with some restrictions.

READ MORE: “Ukrainian Doctors Are Ready to Fight Coronavirus” - Ex-Deputy Health Minister

/By Romeo Kokriatski