DEMOCRATIC CIVILIAN CONTROL IN UKRAINE
How it works?
Civilian control over the military is just as important for democracy as the freedom of speech, respect for human rights, and the establishment of civil society.
The development of democratic civilian control over the security and defence sector is considered a major area of modern Ukraine’s National Security Policy by the National Security Strategy.
Ukraine has assumed international commitments to establish democratic control over its defence and law enforcement agencies. This provision is included in the following documents: “Partnership for Peace Framework Document”, “Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and Ukraine”, and “Code of Conduct on Military-Political Aspects of Security”, adopted at the OSCE Budapest summit in 1994.
Legislation of Ukraine in the field of democratic control
Presently, the main document in the field of democratic control is the Law of Ukraine, “On Democratic Civilian Control over the Military and Law Enforcement Agencies”, of 19 June 2003.
This law was designed to regulate the protection of the national interests of Ukraine, the establishment and consolidation of the constitutional principles of the democratic and legal state in the field of civil-military relations, and the protection of human rights and freedoms. It also identifies the legal framework for the organisation and implementation of democratic civilian control over the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other uniformed services established under the legislation of Ukraine, as well as over national law enforcement agencies.
What is ensured by civilian control in Ukraine?
- Priority to political approaches for military development
- National defence and law enforcement agencies operate in compliance with the law
- Political stability within society and special conditions, which prevent the employment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, other uniformed services, or law enforcement agencies with the purpose to restrict any rights and freedoms of citizens to overthrow the constitutional order, eliminate governmental authority or obstruct its activity, or to promote the interests of certain individuals, political parties, and public organisations.
- Measures to prevent violations of constitutional rights and freedoms, and to protect the legitimate interests of citizens of Ukraine serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, other uniformed services, and law enforcement agencies, as well as citizens discharged from military service and their families.
- Account for public opinion and proposals of citizens and public organisations while discussing and taking decisions on the activity of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, other uniformed services, law enforcement agencies and officials in the field of defence, national security, public order, and justice.
- Allocation and efficient use of the required amount of budgetary funds by law to be spent on the support and operation of military and law enforcement agencies, including reforms in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
- Use of state property delivered under control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, other uniformed services, and law enforcement agencies in accordance with its designated and functional purpose.
- Supply of timely, complete and accurate information on the activities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, other uniformed services, and law enforcement agencies to public authorities and society. Assurance that such activity corresponds to the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, international law, actual military-political and criminal situations, as well as the need to ensure a reliable system of national defence and security, and strong public order.
Principles of civilian control in Ukraine
- Rule of law and strict observance of legislation requirements regulating the civil-military relations and activity of the security and defence sector
- Separation of functions and authorities between political control over the national military establishment and law enforcement activity, and professional military control over the Armed Forces of Ukraine, other uniformed services, and law enforcement agencies, while avoiding the duplication of their functions
- Depoliticisation and deideologisation of control. Officials that exercise control in the field of national defence and security and law enforcement under this Law may not be bound by the decisions of political parties and public organisations
- Transparency of expenditures on national security and defence, law enforcement, and disposal and elimination of weapons
- Availability of non-classified information on the activity of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other components of the military establishment, as well as all law enforcement agencies to the public
- Judicial protection of rights for the subjects of civilian control