The Deputies Got Ready to Hostile Takeovers of Land

The parliamentary ‘coalition’ of the deputies close to the management of Petro Poroshenko Block and People’s Front and the ‘oligarchic fractions’ of deputies are ‘pushing’ the bill that will allow free seizures of lands belonging to villagers.

The Ministry of Justice has applied to its local bodies for more than a month in order to collect information from notaries concerning the amount of notarial acts in rural area.

The requested notarial acts were analyzed in accordance with their types, subject aspects and territories. None has known reasons for that procedure till now.

And today a group of parliamentary deputies close to financial flows introduced the Bill 9140 ‘About the Amendments to Some Legislative Acts of Ukraine Concerning the Prerequisites for Protection of Economic and Hereditary Rights of Citizens in Rural Area’.

Deputies are trying to create a notary service (authorized individuals of the judicial body) that would be under personal control of Mr. Petrenko, Minister of Justice (belonging to People’s Front), with the help of this bill.

These so-called ‘experts’ will have power to exercise notarial acts and carry out registration procedures in rural area. Unlike notaries the ‘authorized’ experts are not held liable and have no insurance coverage for their activity. In addition, they will be granted with a right to conduct almost all of the notarial acts and carry out registration procedures.

The authorized by Mr. Petrenko experts will have the right to almost fully implement the notarial authority including contracts of sales, gifts and warrants etc. And in addition they’ll participate in the procedure for state registration of real estate, land and juridical persons.

The strategy mentioned above is suggested to coexist with the state notarial system and authorized officials of local self-government that are nowadays providing the realization of economic rights by citizens living in rural areas and other socially vulnerable groups. In particular it concerns land ownership and leasing.

But in fact they create just an alternative to the notarial system. And this alternative is nothing but a quasi-structure represented by the authorized judicial individuals who can be appointed and dismissed by General Local Departments of Justice upon the agreement with the Ministry of Justice. It is a complete absurdity causing concerns about impartiality and independent operation of these individuals (only the candidates for chief positions at the General Departments of Justice and at the moment their deputies are being reviewed by the Ministry of Justice).

Material liability requirements usually applied for the representatives of judicial body are not provided for these authorized individuals. The same reasoning applies to the obligation of insurance coverage for their activity.

These ‘authorized individuals’ will not have to observe any requirements as to their worksites and there will be no linkage to a notarial district. They will be able to perform their functions where it’ll be needed and upon orders by relevant officials.

It means that right now we are standing on the verge of creating quasi-notarial bodies that will deal with implementation of assignments from their management due to their vertical structure and reissuance of rights and ownership all around the state.

It means that they will have an opportunity to implement seizures of land shares after the land market is open. 

All of it breaks the commitments of Ukraine on cross-border notarial services that are provided by the article 96 of Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement and the Enclosure XVI-E of commitments Ukraine entered into as to the cross-border services (that includes also notarial services).

The authorized individuals will be allowed to have neither an office nor a certain district and they will obtain notarial authority after 5 years of their operation. Moreover, these phantom registrars will be financed from the budget.

You may think it is a joke. But in fact it’s not!

The bill has already been introduced to the Parliament. It happened on October 1, 2018 and the draft of the bill was forwarded to the profile Committee of the Verkhovna Rada for further consideration. Iryna Lutsenko, Maksym Burbak, Viktor Bondar, Yaroslav Moskalenko, Yaroslav Dubnevych, Mykhaylo Dovbenko and Mykola Knyazhytskyi drafted the bill together with Andriy Ivanchuk who was always considered to be a grey eminence and a cashier of People’s Front.

The Chamber of Notaries has already examined the bill and made conclusions as to the changes it might lead. And here they are:

  • Such changes will lead to considerable corruption risks and power abuse as the authorized individual of the judicial body will be appointed by local judicial departments that actually control the notary system.

  • Such changes will open the way to hostile takeovers as the authorized individuals of the judicial body will have power to register rights to land, sale contracts, deeds of a gift, contracts of exchange, deals on other forms of immovable property and corporate right etc. with no linkage to existing territory.

  • Such changes question incontestability of notarial acts and their quality as the authorized individuals of the judicial body will have a right to implement notarial acts without a special certificate, notarial work experience of up to three years and cyber-defense of their worksites.

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Sergey Pyvovarov

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