Legal Framework for the Police Commissions: Current State and Prospects for Development
Current State and Prospects for Development
The article deals with the current legal framework for the activities of the police commissions in Ukraine. These bodies, established under the 2015 Law of Ukraine “On National Police”, are tasked primarily with ensuring transparent staffing of the police by conducting competitive selection of the candidates for the positions in the police. They include representatives from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, National Police as well as representatives of the civil society, appointed on the by the oblast councils on the local and by the Verkhovna Rada Human Rights Ombudsperson on the countrywide level. However, in the study, a number of problems of the existing regulations have been identified.
The first group concerns the way the commissions are established, namely, there is no single approach to the establishment of the commissions of the interregional territorial police forces (such as the Patrol Police). While some of these forces have only one police commission, functioning in Kyiv, the others (including the Patrol Police) have separate police commissions for every oblast. While the latter provides better representation of the local interests, legal status of such commissions requires clarification. Additionally, it was proposed, that establishment of the police commissions on the level below the oblasts seems to be appropriate in order to better represent interests of the communities.
The second problem stems from the fact that the contests involving police commissions are obligatory only for the first assignment in the police, while further career decisions are at the respective police director’s discretion. There are no criteria that make appointment through the procedures of the police commissions obligatory for any position in the police, which significantly lowers their relevance for the further career development of the police officers. Therefore, it was proposed to establish a list of the positions, for which the contest would be mandatory.
Finally, the article deals with the issue of the policing priorities. While they are mentioned in the Law of Ukraine “On National Police”, the powers of the police commissions to issue them are not sufficiently regulated. It was suggested, therefore, to establish a mechanism, under which the police commissions would draft policing priorities and the respective local councils would adopt them.
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