19 July 2019

Olena Drozdova has looked into what’s wrong with new Child Sex Offender Chemical Castration Act

Riding on the wave of the election campaign, the Ukrainian Parliament enacted an act introducing chemical castration for raping a person aged under 14. However, the good intention to prevent sex offences contradicts the Constitution and international obligations of Ukraine.

Despite numerous controversies and legal miswriting of Bill No. 6449, as pointed out by the General Office for Research and Evaluation of the Ukrainian Parliament’s Administration, on 11 July the Parliament’s members approved in principle and as it was the Act amending certain legislative instruments of Ukraine to strengthen liability for offences against a minor or underage person or a person who does not reach puberty. It took them seven minutes to discuss and vote for the idea brought by the bill. Seven minutes – the time that actually lapsed from the commencement of hearing of the bill in a fast-track procedure to the passing of the final decision supported by the votes of 247 people’s representatives.

The Act introduces chemical castration, a public register of child sex offenders, and the life-time administrative oversight over the relevant category of convicts released from prison. Although there are legal comments on each of the above novelties, the legal community raises the highest concerns over the new punishment to be included in the Criminal Code.

If the President signs the Act, the chemical castration will apply, complementary to imprisonment, to any person who has done sexual acts involving vaginal, anal or oral penetration in the body of a child aged under 14 or the use of genital organs or any other object. It will not matter whether the child has voluntarily consented to such acts (Article 152(4) of the Criminal Code).

To learn about what is wrong with this idea, please read the entire article authored by Drozdova & Partners Law Firm director Olena Drozdova for Law & Business newspaper.