On October 1, the Verkhovna Rada registered a draft law “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on the Creation of Preconditions for the Protection of Economic and Inheritance Rights of Citizens in Rural Areas” No. 9140.
The draft law envisages the establishment of an institution of authorized persons of the judicial authorities under the control of the Ministry of Justice, thus broadening the circle of people whose activities will be aimed at allegedly providing targeted services to the population in the areas of notarial and state registration.
In fact, the draft creates an alternative to the notary’s structure represented by the authorized persons of the judicial authorities who are appointed and dismissed by the chief territorial departments of justice in agreement with the Ministry of Justice, which is a nonsense and calls into question the impartiality and independence of the work of these officials. At present, the candidates to the Chief Departments of Justice and their deputies only are approved by the Ministry of Justice.
Authorized persons of the judicial authorities, as opposed to notaries, are granted the right to execute almost all notarial acts and to carry out state registration of rights to property, including movable property, as well as business.
Unlike notaries, authorized persons of the judicial authorities need to work “at least five years as the authorized person of the judicial authorities” to become a notary public. The draft law also lacks the requirements for the liability of the authorized person of the judicial authorities and compulsory insurance of their activities.
The premises in which the authorized person of the judicial authorities executes notarial acts will be determined by an order of the relevant head of the department of justice. Consequently, unlike for the notaries, the draft law lacks requirements for the workplace and an attachment to the notary’s district.
Thus, RPR experts argue that the amendments proposed in the Draft Law No. 9140:
1) Undermine the foundations of decentralization in Ukraine as the draft law downplays the possibility of exercising legal authority over the inheritance registration and the provision of certain registration services by territorial communities;
2) Create a conflict of authority in the field of notary and state registration as the authorized persons of the judicial authorities will be appointed by the territorial departments of justice which exercise control over the notaries;
3) Open up wide opportunities for raider attacks as the authorized persons of the judicial authorities will be able to register the rights to land, purchase and sale contracts, transfer by gift and exchanges, transactions with other real property and corporate rights, etc., without being attached to the respective territory;
4) Question the indisputability of the notarial acts and their quality – the authorized persons of the judicial authorities have the right to execute notarial acts without a special certificate, a three-year experience in notary office and cyber defense of the workplace.
The existence of any quasi-notary bodies is a violation of Ukraine’s obligations to establish a cross-border provision of notarial services as foreseen by Article 96 of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine and Annex XVI-E of the list of Ukraine’s obligations regarding cross-border services (which includes notary services)
Adoption of the draft law No. 9140 will make it impossible to bring Ukrainian legislation in line with the requirements of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, in particular Regulation (EU) No. 650/2012 of the European Parliament and the Council of July 4, 2012, which stipulates that extrajudicial registration of inheritance shall be carried out solely by a notary public.
RPR experts are convinced that: such an unjustified establishment of a power institute with broad raiding powers, full subordination to one body and minimal risk of prosecution for abuse is unacceptable. The concentration of opportunities to manage property in Ukraine proposed in the draft law is unacceptable.
In view of the above, Reanimation Package of Reforms calls on:
1) The authors of the draft law No. 9140 “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on the Creation of Preconditions for the Protection of Economic and Inheritance Rights of Citizens in Rural Areas” – to immediately withdraw it as containing numerous threats of corruption and violations of the property rights in Ukraine;
2) Members of Parliament of Ukraine – to reject the draft law No. 9140. “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on the Creation of Preconditions for the Protection of Economic and Inheritance Rights of Citizens in Rural Areas”.