Its backers hope the long-anticipated revisions, which came into effect on Nov. 20, will eliminate the worst abuses of the nation’s barbaric judicial and law enforcement systems.
The previous code, a Soviet holdover from the days of Nikita Khrushchev, was described by lawyers and human rights activists as “unbearably vile” and “disastrous.” But it’s not enough to change the law, advocates warn. The police, prosecutors and judges who enforce the law will have to change, too, and that could be the hardest part.
“Criminal legislation will definitely become more humanistic. The code can be rightfully called revolutionary for Ukraine,” said Mikhail Ilyashev, managing partner at Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm. “The most important is that it expands the rights and influence of attorneys and limits pretrial detention to exceptional cases.”