The law regarding legal relations within Crimean peninsula has come into effect

by DLA Piper

On 27 April, the Law of Ukraine "On Ensuring the Citizens' Rights and Freedoms on the Temporarily Occupied Territory of Ukraine" came into effect. The Law establishes the specifics of regulation of legal relations within the temporarily occupied territory - namely, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, inland waters, air space, territorial sea, adjacent areas, exclusive economic zone, continental shelf and underwater area.

The Law caused major concerns for the business community as its initial drafts had actually imposed complete prohibition for business activities within the temporarily occupied territory. However, those provisions have been excluded from the final wording: Members of Parliament s approved that business activities within the temporarily occupied territory shall be regulated by a separate law.

Also, Members of Parliament abolished prohibition to execute transactions with regard to immovable property, including land plots, within the temporarily occupied territory. At the same time, the transactions concerning real estate, state-owned property and natural resources located within the temporarily occupied territory shall be executed in compliance with the requirements of Ukrainian legislation.

Special permits for visiting temporarily occupied territory were introduced only for foreign citizens and stateless persons. Ukrainian citizens will have the right to visit the temporarily occupied territory without any impediments on the basis of their domestic passports. The temporarily occupied territory can be accessed only through checkpoints.

The Law established that the citizens of Ukraine who reside within the temporarily occupied territory shall be entitled to vote at the elections of the President of Ukraine, the parliamentary elections of Ukraine and the national referendum exclusively within mainland Ukraine.

All cases considered by the courts of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, as well as the cases within their jurisdiction have been transferred to relevant courts of Kyiv.

In addition, the Law introduces amendments to criminal legislation with regard to enhancement of criminal liability of legal entities.

Particularly, the grounds for application of the criminal law measures to legal entities will include the crimes committed not only by authorized persons of legal entities but also the crimes committed by authorization or by order, in collusion, in privacy or otherwise. Authorized persons are officials of the legal entity or other persons authorized to act on behalf of the legal entity by virtue of law, constituent documents or agreements.

The list of crimes committed on behalf or for the benefit of legal entities and entailing application of criminal liability and forcible liquidation of legal entities has been significantly extended. In particular, it includes the actions aimed at overthrowing the constitutional order in Ukraine, taking hostages, breach of legislation on referendum, creation of illegal militarized formations, etc.

For the regulation of the law enforcement practice, a crime is recognized committed for the benefit of a legal entity if it is aimed at obtaining undue advantage or creating conditions for the legal entity to obtain undue advantage, as well as evasion of responsibility envisaged by law.

In case of application of criminal liability measures to a legal entity, the latter is obligated to reimburse the losses in full and compensate the undue advantage that has been or could have been received.

This update can be read in Russian using this link.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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