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On issue of abolition of parliamentary immunity

February 5, 2015

Abolition of parliamentary immunity is an ambiguous issue

On issue of abolition of parliamentary immunity

There are no international or European commitments on regulation of parliamentary immunity.

Regulation of parliamentary immunity just as subject of its application is an exclusive legislative competence of national agencies.

This conclusion is stated in the analytical review ‘Reforming of parliamentary immunities in Ukraine’ prepared y Democracy Reporting International and Institute of International Relation of Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University.

The review points out the ambiguous character of parliamentary immunity. Deputies can abuse it to avoid prosecution for corruption and other crimes.

Meanwhile, immunity can serve as effective means of protecting the legislative body from inappropriate pressure of other branches of government.

This protection through immunity is not decisive in countries where there are established stable and mature democratic institutions, stable unanimous policy of parties, independent and autonomous judicial system, high level of protection of personal political rights and guarantees of existence of an effective parliamentary opposition.

The review sums up that Ukraine doesn’t meet the requirements that promote or justify abolition of immunity.

In addition, the review attracts attention to some recommendations of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe concerning reforming of immunities:

  • limit the object of protection on level of Constitution or laws (and exclude from the immunity protection from liability in case of detention of deputy in flaglante delicto (at the crime scene), liability for serious criminal offenses and minor or administrative offenses
  • establish in law detailed and clear procedure of removal of parliamentary immunity due to basic procedural principles (transparency and predictability of the process, impartiality and absence of arbitrariness)
  • provide clear criteria of acceptance of faster and more grounded decisions concerning removal of immunity in particular, ensure that single decision of removal is enough under one set of proceedings that would abolish the immunity in all measures of proceeding).


The full version of the review is available here.

It is provided by Ukrainian Media Crisis Center.


On February 5, 2015 the Parliament of Ukraine discussed this issue.

365 MP of 371 registered in session hall voted for sending the law on amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine (regarding immunity of Members of Parliament and judges) to the Constitutional Court.


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