In search of a free econ­omy

Kyiv Post Legal Quarterly - - Contents -

With dra­matic flour­ish, Ukrainian Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko on Dec. 1 signed into law pro­tec­tions for busi­nesses against un­rea­son­able or il­le­gal searches and in­spec­tions of busi­nesses. It took ef­fect on Dec. 7. The politi­cians hailed the law as a vic­tory, a sign that Ukraine is truly busi­ness-friendly and open for in­vest­ment. But if Ukraine needed a new law to stop un­rea­son­able or il­le­gal searches, isn't this an ad­mis­sion of guilt over what's hap­pened be­fore? This Kyiv Post Le­gal Quar­terly, our 16th edi­tion since we launched the pub­li­ca­tion in 2014, high­lights sev­eral cases of un­rea­son­able or il­le­gal govern­ment in­ter­fer­ence in pri­vate com­merce. Some­times, the govern­ment — through courts, prose­cu­tors, po­lice or reg­u­la­tors — in­ter­feres to en­rich fa­vored peo­ple or agen­cies. Other times, the in­ter­ven­tion is de­signed to un­fairly fa­vor one mar­ket player over an­other. And still other times, busi­nesses or raiders sim­ply act brazenly in seiz­ing other busi­nesses or re­fus­ing to pay bank loans. They are em­bold­ened by Ukraine's lack of rule of law and in­abil­ity to en­force court judg­ments. Some are sim­ply con­fi­dent they will en­joy im­punity af­ter pay­ing off the right judge or pros­e­cu­tor, or skilled at ty­ing up the dis­pute in court end­lessly in the hopes that the vic­tims go away. None of these abuses es­cape the at­ten­tion of in­vestors, who are still largely by­pass­ing Ukraine de­spite a global eco­nomic boom. For­tu­nately, Ukraine has more tools to fight against un­fair at­tacks on busi­ness: The Euro­pean Bank for Re­con­struc­tion and De­vel­op­ment, among other in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions; the Busi­ness Om­buds­man's Coun­cil; the Na­tional Anti-cor­rup­tion Bureau of Ukraine and a newly con­sti­tuted Supreme Court. But busi­nesses in Ukraine need more pro­tec­tion. They need elected of­fi­cials and govern­ment to en­sure rule of law, min­i­mal yet ef­fec­tive reg­u­la­tion and com­pet­i­tive mar­kets.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ukraine

© PressReader. All rights reserved.