Does the State Plan to Redeem Debts under the Court Decisions in 2015?

In order to implement the Law of Ukraine “On State Guarantees on Court Decisions Enforcement”, which received criticism among experts upon its adoption due to its actual non-compliance, and to enforce provisions of this Law, on September 3 of this year the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted the Resolution No. 440 “On Approval of Procedure for Debt Redemption under the Court Decisions, Enforcement of Which is Guaranteed by the State”. Today non-enforcement of national court decisions in state cases remains to be the primary reason for recourse to the European Court of Human Rights. Lack of effective mechanism actually leads to non-enforcement of the draft decision of the European Court of Human Rights in case “Yurii Mykolaiovych Ivanov v. Ukraine”. In this regard approval of the Procedure oriented for the Law enforcement is positive. However, it is necessary to analyse whether such relevant mechanism is effective.

According to the Procedure the Decision establishes enforcement documents under the court decisions of funds recovery or courts decisions, which came into legal force and by which the debtors are the subjects specified by Part One of Article 2 of the Law of Ukraine “On State Guarantees on Court Decisions Enforcement” (state authority, state enterprise or legal entity, the property of which is prohibited for disposal by law), which were issued and adopted before January 1, 2013. The Procedure for debt redemption stipulates that an Applicant shall submit a decision and the following documents to State Enforcement Service in debtor’s jurisdiction: application with bank account details or necessary data for cash transfer, enforcement document or court decision (original or duly certified copy), copy of passport and taxpayer identification number.

After registration of an application, it is immediately forwarded to the head of State Enforcement Service, who will appoint the responsible enforcement officer at latest on the following working day. Find information on registered decision by reference:

During seven days the responsible person checks the state of decision enforcement, and if such decision is not enforced, he/she will include an application to the following queue; [1].

1. decision of pension and social payments, alimony recovery, recovery of damages incurred as a result of crime or administrative violation, disability and other health damage, as well as in connection with loss of a breadwinner;

2. decisions related to employment relationship;

3. other decisions.

Decisions are added to each of such queues in accordance with time of their submission to the Enforcement Service. Decisions, which were received by the Enforcement Service before the 1st day of the month following the reporting period each quarter before the 10th day of the month following the reporting period, are forwarded to the Department of Treasury Accounts. The relevant authority allocates funds specified by the Law of Ukraine “On State Budget”.

It is obvious that the relevant Procedure is principally oriented for enforcement of decisions rendered before entry into force of the Law of Ukraine “On State Guarantees on Court Decisions Enforcement”, and enforcement of which was suspended due to lack of state guarantees and/or sufficient funds in the budget. In this regard approval of the Procedure for debt redemption is positive, because it imposes relevant state guarantees on cases, decisions in which were adopted before entry into force of the relevant Law.

In the majority of cases, when the applicants applied to the European Court of Human Rights, the reason for non-enforcement of national court decisions was indicated as lack of necessary funds in the state budget of Ukraine. It is absolutely obvious that even the most progressive mechanism of national court decisions enforcement will remain ink on paper without appropriate financial support. According to the Law of Ukraine “On State Budget 2015” it is planned to spend 150 million hryvnias [2] for enforcement of court decisions guaranteed by the state. Such amount is budgeted not only for enforcement of debt redemption under court decisions, which were adopted before January 1, 2013, it also includes decisions adopted afterwards. Today there is not public information on sizes of actual indebtedness under the relevant categories of decisions, however, in specific cases indebtedness reaches several dozens of thousands hryvnias. Consequently, despite establishment of the procedure for debt redemption, the following question remains to be open, whether such money will be obtained for its redemption in real, as the budget includes only generalized item. Besides that, within this context, it is important to create and keep a register of the relevant decisions and debts under them, because today there is not any reliable information on the necessary funds for enforcement of court decisions. Without such information it is impossible to calculate appropriations accurately and include them into the budget.

For reference, the budget includes UAH740,824,800 for payments for enforcement of foreign jurisdictional bodies decisions adopted as a result of proceedings in cases against Ukraine, UAH207,217,400 for proceedings of local administrative courts, UAH112,439,500 [3] for proceedings of administrative courts of appeal.

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