The Criminal Procedural Code of Ukraine

Date of entry into force:
November 19, 2012

The criminal procedural legislation of Ukraine consists of the respective provisions of the Constitution of Ukraine, international agreements ratified by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Criminal Procedural Code of Ukraine (hereinafter referred to as Code) and other Laws of Ukraine (part 2, Article 1 of the Code).

According to Article 2 of the Code, the tasks of criminal proceedings are protecting the individual, the society and the state against criminal offences, protecting the rights, freedoms and lawful interests of the parties of criminal proceedings, and ensuring quick, complete and unbiased investigation and trial, so that every person who committed a criminal offence is brought to responsibility proportionately to their guilt, no innocent person is accused or convicted, no person is subjected to unfounded procedural enforcement, and an appropriate legal procedure is applied to every party of criminal proceedings.

Article 3 of the Code provides definitions of terms used in it. For example, the Ukrainian criminal liability law is the collection of legislative acts of Ukraine that establish criminal liability (the Criminal Code of Ukraine and the Law of Ukraine on Criminal Offences). Inquiry is a form of pre-trial investigation, during which criminal offences are investigated. Pre-trial investigation is a stage of criminal proceedings that begins when information about a criminal offence is entered into the Single Register of Pre-Trial Investigations and concludes when the criminal proceedings are closed, or when a bill of indictment, a petition to use compulsory medical treatment or measures of educational influence, or a petition to relieve a person of criminal liability is submitted to the court.

General principles of criminal proceedings are determined by Article 7 of the Code.

In the course of criminal proceedings, no one may be kept in custody, detained or otherwise restricted in their right to free movement on suspicion or charge of a criminal offence, except on the grounds and according to the procedure provided for by the Code. Every person detained on suspicion or charge of a criminal offence, or otherwise deprived of freedom, must be promptly delivered to the investigating magistrate to determine the lawfulness and feasibility of their detainment, other deprivation of freedom and further custody. If the detained person is not presented with a motivated court resolution on detention in custody within seventy-two hours after their detainment, they are released immediately. Immediate notification of the persons detention, taking into custody or other limitation of the right to free movement must be given to the immediate relatives, family members or other persons indicated by the detainee, according to the procedure envisaged by the Code. Anyone kept in custody or otherwise deprived of freedom during a term that exceeds the term envisaged by the Code must be released immediately. Detaining, taking into custody or otherwise limiting a persons right to free movement during criminal proceedings, if done with no grounds or with violation of the procedure envisaged by the Code, entails liability according to law (Article 12 of the Code).

According to part 2, Article 15 of the Code, no one may collect, store, use and distribute information about a persons private life without their consent, except for cases provided for by the Code.

Part 2, Article 16 of the Code envisages that temporary seizure of property without a court resolution is allowed on the grounds and according to the procedure provided by the Code.

According to Article 17 of the Code, a person is considered innocent of the criminal offence and may not be subjected to criminal punishment until their guilt is proven according to the procedure determined by the Code, and established by a guilty verdict that has taken effect. No one is obligated to prove their innocence of a criminal offence, and must be declared not guilty if the prosecution side fails to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. Suspicion and accusation may not be based on evidence acquired by illegal means. Any doubts as to the standard of proof of a persons guilt are interpreted in favor of such person. In the course of criminal proceedings, a person whose fault has not been established by a guilty verdict that has taken effect must be treated the same as an innocent person.

Openness and transparency of court proceedings are guaranteed by Article 27 of the Code.

Criminal proceedings are held in the official language. The prosecution, the investigating magistrate and the court prepare procedural documents in the official language. A person is informed of their being suspected of a criminal offence in the official language, or in any other language they speak well enough to understand the essence of the suspicion of a criminal offence. The investigating magistrate, the court, the prosecutor and the investigator shall provide those parties of the criminal proceedings that have insufficient or no grasp of the official language with the right to give evidence, make petitions, file complaints and speak in court in their native language, or another language they can speak, with the use of an interpreter when necessary, according to the procedure provided by the Code. Court resolutions that conclude the essential court proceedings are provided to the parties of the criminal proceedings, or to the person in whose respect a decision was made to apply compulsory medical treatment or measures of educational influence, translated to their native language or another language they speak. Other procedural documents of the criminal proceedings, the copies of which must be provided according to the Code, are translated only by petition of the above persons. Translations of court resolutions and other procedural documents of the criminal proceedings are certified by the translators signature (Article 29 of the Law).

Composition of the court is established by Article 31 of the Code.

According to Article 32 of the Code, criminal proceedings are carried out by the court within whose territorial jurisdiction the criminal offence was committed. If several criminal offences were committed, criminal proceedings are carried out by the court within whose territorial jurisdiction the graver offence was committed, and if the gravity of the offences is the same, the court within whose territorial jurisdiction the most recent criminal offence was committed. If it is impossible to determine the place of the criminal offence, criminal proceedings are carried out by the court within whose territorial jurisdiction pre-trial investigation was completed.

Instance-based submission to jurisdiction is established by Article 33 of the Code.

According to part 2, Article 36 of the Code, the prosecutor, while observing adherence to laws during pre-trial investigation in the form of procedural administration of the pre-trial investigation, is authorized to:
  • initiate pre-trial investigation in the presence of grounds envisaged by the Code;
  • have complete access to the materials, documents and information related to pre-trial investigation;
  • charge the body of pre-trial investigation with conducting the pre-trial investigation;
  • charge the investigator or the body of pre-trial investigation with conducting investigative (inquiry) activities, secret investigative (inquiry) activities or other procedural activities within the timeframe established by the prosecutor; give instructions on or take part in such activities; and whenever necessary personally conduct investigative (inquiry) and procedural activities according to the procedure determined by the Code;
  • charge appropriate operative departments with conducting investigative (inquiry) activities and secret investigative (inquiry) activities;
  • appoint revisions and inspections according to the procedure determined by law;
  • cancel unlawful and unfounded resolutions of investigators;
  • bring the issue of removing an investigator from pre-trial investigation and appointing another investigator, before the head of the body of pre-trial investigation, in the presence of grounds provided for by the Code, to challenge the investigator or in case of ineffective pre-trial investigation;
  • make procedural decisions in cases envisaged by the Code, including to close criminal proceedings and extend the term of pre-trial investigation, in the presence of grounds envisaged by the Code;
  • approve or deny the investigators petitions to the investigating magistrate on conducting investigative (inquiry) activities, secret investigative (inquiry) activities and other procedural activities, in cases provided for by the Code, or personally submit such petitions to the investigating magistrate;
  • inform the suspect of the suspicion;
  • make civil claims in the interests of the state and of citizens who are unable to defend their rights themselves, due to their physical state, material state, minority status, old age, lack of or limited legal capacity, according to the procedure envisaged by the Code and law;
  • approve or deny a bill of indictment or a petition to use compulsory medical treatment or measures of educational influence; make amendments to the bill of indictment or the above petitions prepared by the investigator; or personally prepare the bill of indictment or the above petitions;
  • address the court with a bill of indictment or a petition to use compulsory medical treatment or measures of educational influence, or a petition to relieve a person of criminal liability;
  • support the government case in court, refuse to support the government case in court, change the government case, or present additional charges according to the procedure established by the Code;
  • approve the request of a body of pre-trial investigation for international legal assistance, hand over the criminal proceedings, or personally make such petitions according to the procedure established by the Code;
  • charge the body of pre-trial investigation with satisfying the request (instruction) of a foreign states competent body for international legal assistant or taking over the criminal proceedings, verify the complete and lawful nature of procedural actions, and the complete, comprehensive and objective nature of investigation in the handed over criminal proceedings;
  • check extradition documents of the body of pre-trial investigation before submitting them to the higher level prosecutor; return them to the appropriate body with written instructions, if such documents are unfounded or do not satisfy the requirements of international agreements ratified by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, or to laws of Ukraine;
  • charge bodies of pre-trial investigation with finding and detaining persons who committed a criminal offence outside of Ukraine, and with carrying out certain procedural actions in order to extradite a person by request of the competent body of a foreign state;
  • contest court resolutions according to the procedure established by the Code;
  • exercise other authority envisaged by the Code.

Article 38 of the Code envisages that bodies of pre-trial investigation (bodies carrying out inquiry and pre-trial inquest) are the investigative departments of:
  • bodies of internal affairs;
  • security agencies;
  • bodies controlling adherence to tax legislation;
  • bodies of the state bureau of investigation.

Operative departments of bodies of internal affairs, security agencies, bodies controlling adherence to tax legislation, bodies of the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine, bodies of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, and bodies of the State Customs Service of Ukraine carry out investigative (inquiry) activities and secret investigative (inquiry) activities in criminal proceedings by written instruction of an investigator or a prosecutor. While carrying out the instructions of an investigator or a prosecutor, the employee of the operative department has the authority of an investigator. Employees of operative departments have no right to carry out procedural activities in criminal proceedings by their own initiative, or to petition the investigating magistrate or the prosecutor. Instruction of an investigator or a prosecutor to carry out investigative (inquiry) activities and secret investigative (inquiry) activities in criminal proceedings are mandatory for the operative department (Article 41 of the Code).

Article 42 of the Code establishes the legal status of the suspect and the accused.

According to Article 45 of the Code, a defense lawyer is an attorney defending the suspect, accused, convict, defendant, acquitted person, a person subject to compulsory medical treatment or measures of educational influence, or a person considered for extradition.

According to Article 46 of the Code, a defense lawyer has no right to undertake defending another person or provide legal aid to another person, if this is in conflict with the interests of the person they are or were earlier providing legal aid. The defense lawyers failure to arrive for participation in any specific procedural activity, if the defense lawyer was given advance notice of such activity, and provided that the suspect or accused does not object to carrying out the procedural activity in absence of the defense lawyer, does not constitute grounds to deem such procedural activity invalid, except for cases when the presence of a defense lawyer is mandatory. No more than five defense lawyers of one accused may be taking part in the court hearing at the same time. A defense lawyer has the right to participate in questioning and other procedural activities that involve the suspect or accused; to have a confidential meeting with the suspect or accused before the first questioning, without requesting permission of the investigator, prosecutor or judge; and to have the same type of meetings after the first questioning, with no limitation of the number and duration of such meetings. Such meetings may be visually monitored by an authorized official, but the conditions must exclude the possibility of listening in or tapping. Documents related to the performance of the defense lawyers duties are not subject to inspection, seizure or disclosure by the investigator, prosecutor, investigating magistrate or the court, without consent of the defense lawyer. Bodies of state power and bodies of local self-government, as well as their officials, must fulfill lawful requests of a defense lawyer.

The obligations of a defense lawyer are provided for by Article 47 of the Code. Part 4, Article 47 of the Code envisages that after being enlisted, a defense lawyer can only refuse to fulfill their duties in the following cases:
  • presence of circumstances that forbid their participation in the criminal proceedings according to the Code;
  • disagreement with the suspect or accused about their chosen means of defense, except for cases when the participation of a defense lawyer is mandatory;
  • intentional violation by the suspect or accused of the terms of agreement concluded with the defense lawyer, manifested, in particular, in systematic neglecting of lawful recommendations of the defense lawyer, violation of the requirements of the Code, etc.;
  • if the defense lawyer motivates their refusal by lack of sufficient qualification necessary to provide legal aid in specific, particularly difficult, proceedings.

Articles 55-57 of the Code determine the procedural status of an injured person.

The rights and obligations of a witness are established by Article 66 of the Code.

According to Article 75 of the Code, the investigating magistrate, judge or juror may not take part in criminal proceedings in the following cases:
  • if they are the plaintiff, injured person, civil plaintiff, civil defendant, immediate relative or family member of the investigator, prosecutor, suspect, accused, plaintiff, injured person, civil plaintiff or civil defendant;
  • if they had taken part in the same proceedings in the capacity of a witness, expert, specialist, interpreter, investigator, prosecutor, defense lawyer or representative;
  • if they, their immediate relatives or family members are interested in the results of the proceedings;
  • under other circumstances that cast doubt upon their impartiality;
  • in case of violation of the procedure for determining the investigating magistrate or the judge in the case;
Members of the court carrying out the proceedings may not be related.

The grounds for challenging the prosecutor, investigator, defense lawyer, representative, specialist, interpreter, expert, or court secretary are determined by Articles 77-79 of the Code.

The procedure for resolving the challenge issue is established by Article 81 of the Code. If repeated challenges bear indications of abuse of the right of challenge to draw out the criminal proceedings, the court that carries out the proceedings has the right to refuse to consider the challenge (part 4, Article 81 of the Code).

Evidence in criminal proceedings are factual data acquired according to the procedure provided for by the Code, based on which the investigator, prosecutor, investigating magistrate and the court establish the presence or absence of facts and circumstances that are relevant to the criminal proceedings and subject to proving. Procedural sources of evidence are testimonies, material evidence, documents, and expert opinions (Article 84 of the Code).

According to Article 91 of the Code, the following is subject to proving in criminal proceedings:
  • the event of criminal offence (time, place, means and other circumstances of the criminal offence);
  • guilt of the accused in the criminal offence, the form of guilt, motive and goal of the criminal offence;
  • type and amount of damage caused by the criminal offence, and the amount of procedural expenses;
  • circumstances that influence the gravity of the committed criminal offence, describe the personal character of the accused, aggravate or commute the punishment, lift criminal liability, or constitute grounds to close criminal proceedings;
  • circumstances that constitute grounds for lifting criminal liability or for punishment.
The proving process entails collecting, verifying and assessing evidence in order to establish circumstances that are relevant to the criminal proceedings.

The obligation to prove the above circumstances rests with the investigator, the prosecutor, and, in cases established by the Code, the injured person. The obligation to prove the pertinence and acceptability of evidence, information about the amount of procedural expenses, and circumstances that characterize the accused, rest with the party submitting such evidence (Article 92 of the Code).

Article 98 of the Code envisages that material evidence are material objects that were used as the instrument of the criminal offence, retain traces of the criminal offence, or contain other information that can be used as proof of the fact or circumstances being established during criminal proceedings, including items that were the object of criminal action, or money, valuables and other objects acquired by criminal means. Documents constitute material evidence if they satisfy the above criteria.

The issue of the future of material evidence and documents provided to the court is resolved by the court when the court resolution that concludes criminal proceedings is being approved (Article 100 of the Code). Such evidence and documents must be stored until the resolution becomes effective. With that:
  • money, valuables and other property that belong to the accused and were found, manufactured, adjusted or used as the instrument(s) of criminal offence, are confiscated;
  • money, valuables and other property that were used for coercing a person into a criminal offence, financing and/or material support of criminal offences, or as reward for committing a criminal offence, are confiscated;
  • property withdrawn from circulation is handed over to appropriate institutions or destroyed;
  • property that has no value and cannot be used is destroyed, or, if necessary, handed over to the forensic collections of expert institutions, or to interested persons, at their request;
  • money, valuables and other property that were the object of a criminal offence or another socially dangerous act, are returned to their legitimate owners, and if such cannot be found, transferred into state revenue according to the procedure established by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;
  • money, valuables and other property acquired as a result of a criminal offence, and income from them, are transferred into state revenue;
  • documents that constitute material evidence are retained in the criminal proceedings files during the entire term of their storage.

According to Article 103 of the Code, procedural actions during criminal proceedings can be recorded:
  • in minutes;
  • on a medium used to record procedural actions with the use of technical equipment;
  • in the court session log.

Procedural decisions are all resolutions of bodies of pre-trial investigation, the prosecutor, investigating magistrate, and the court. A court resolution is made in form of a ruling or a verdict. A decision of an investigator or a prosecutor is made in form of a decree. A decree is made in cases provided for by the Code, as well as when considered necessary by the investigator or the prosecutor. A bill of indictment is a procedural decision by which the prosecutor presents an accusation of a criminal offence, and which concludes pre-trial investigation (Article 110 of the Code).

The procedure for calculating procedural time limits is established by Article 115 of the Code.

According to Article 118 of the Code, procedural expenses consist of:
  • legal aid expenses;
  • expenses related to arriving to the place of pre-trial investigation or court proceedings;
  • expenses related to involving injured persons, witnesses, specializes, interpreters and experts;
  • expenses related to storing and sending items and documents.

The suspect, accused, and any consenting natural person or legal entity have the right to compensate the damage caused to the injured person, the territorial community or the state as a result of a criminal offence, at any stage of criminal proceedings. Damages caused by a criminal offence or another socially dangerous act may be collected by decision of the court, based on the results of reviewing a civil claim in criminal proceeding. Damages caused to the injured person as a result of a criminal offence are compensated at the expense of the State Budget of Ukraine, in cases and according to the procedure envisaged by law (Article 127 of the Code).

According to Article 131 of the Code, means of support of criminal proceedings are used in order to ensure the effectiveness of the proceedings. The means of support of criminal proceedings are:
  • summons by an investigator or prosecutor, subpoena and attachment;
  • application of monetary sanctions;
  • temporary limitation on the use of a special right;
  • dismissal from office;
  • temporary access to items and documents;
  • temporary confiscation of property;
  • arrest of property;
  • detention;
  • preventive measures.

Articles 132-213 of the Code establish the procedure for applying the above means of support of criminal proceedings.

Article 139 of the Code envisages that if a suspect, accused, witness, injured person, or civil defendant, who was summoned according to the procedure established by the Code (in particular, there is confirmation of their receipt of the summons or their otherwise becoming familiar with it), did not arrive without valid reasons or did not inform of the reasons of their absence, the following monetary sanctions will be applied to them:
  • between 0.25 and 0.5 times the minimum wage in case of failing to arrive at the summons of an investigator or a prosecutor;
  • between 0.5 and 2 times the minimum wage in case of failing to arrive at the summons of an investigating magistrate or court.

Dismissal from office may be applied in regard of a person suspected or accused of a crime of medium gravity, grave, or particularly grave crime, and, irrespective of the gravity of crime, in regard of a person who is an official of a law enforcement body. Dismissal from office is done by resolution of the investigating magistrate during pre-trial investigation, or by court resolution during court proceedings, for a term that does not exceed two months. The term of dismissal from office may be extended. The issue of dismissal from office of persons appointed by the President of Ukraine is resolved by the President of Ukraine based on the petition of a prosecutor, according to the procedure established by the legislation. Dismissal from office of a judge is done by the Supreme Judge Qualification Commission of Ukraine, based on the motivated petition of the General Prosecutor of Ukraine, according to the procedure established by the legislation (Article 154 of the Code).

According to Article 176 of the Code, preventive measures are:
  • personal obligation;
  • personal guarantee;
  • pledge;
  • house arrest;
  • custody.
Detention is a temporary preventive measure. Preventive measures during pre-trial investigation are applied by the investigating magistrate on petition of the investigator approved by the prosecutor, or on petition of the prosecutor; and during court proceedings, by the court on petition of the prosecutor.

Article 183 of the Code envisages that preventive measures in the form of custody can only be applied:
  • to a person suspected or accused of a crime, for which the primary punishment provided by the law is a fine of over three thousand personal exemptions exclusively in cases when, in addition to the circumstances provided for by Article 177 of the Code (hiding out from bodies of pre-trial investigation and/or court; destroying, concealing or distorting any items or documents that are material for establishing the circumstances of a criminal offence; illegal influence on the injured person, witness, other suspect, accused, expert or specialist in the same criminal proceedings; otherwise interfering with the criminal proceedings; committing another criminal offence or continuing the criminal offence of which they are suspected or accused), the prosecutor can prove that the suspect or accused failed to fulfill the obligations vested in them during application of another preventive measure selected earlier, or that they failed to duly fulfill the requirements on pledge of money and provide the documents that confirms it;
  • to a previously convicted person who is suspected or accused of a crime for which the punishment provided by the law is deprivation of freedom for a term of up to three years, exclusively in cases when, in addition to the circumstances provided for by Article 177 of the Code, the prosecutor can prove that, while at large, this person was hiding out from a body of pre-trial investigation or court, interfered with criminal proceedings, or was informed of being suspected of another crime;
  • to a previously unconvicted person who is suspected or accused of a crime for which the punishment provided by the law is deprivation of freedom for a term of up to five years, exclusively in cases when, in addition to the circumstances provided for by Article 177 of the Code, the prosecutor can prove that, while at large, this person was hiding out from a body of pre-trial investigation or court, interfered with criminal proceedings, or was informed of being suspected of another crime;
  • to a previously unconvicted person who is suspected or accused of a crime for which the punishment provided by the law is deprivation of freedom for a term of up over five years;
  • to a previously convicted person who is suspected or accused of a crime for which the punishment provided by the law is deprivation of freedom for a term of over three years;
  • to a person wanted by competent bodies of a foreign state for a criminal offence, in relation to which the person may be extradited to such a state to be brought to criminal liability or to have their sentence executed, according to the procedure and on the grounds envisaged by the Code or an international agreement ratified by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine;

According to Article 194 of the Code, while reviewing a petition to apply a preventive measure, the investigating magistrate or the court must establish whether the evidence provided by the parties of the criminal proceedings prove circumstances that indicate:
  • presence of reasonable suspicion of the suspect or accused of the criminal offence;
  • sufficient grounds to believe in the presence of at least one of the risks provided for by Article 177 and indicated by the investigator or the prosecutor;
  • the insufficiency of more lenient preventive measures to prevent the risk(s) stated in the petition.
If a prosecutor can prove the presence of all above circumstances while a petition to apply a preventive measure not related to custody is under review, the investigating magistrate or the court applies the appropriate preventive measure, obligates the suspect or the accused to arrive at the court or at any specified body of state power at each summons, and to fulfill one or several obligations that the prosecutor has proved to be necessary, such as:
  • arrive at the office of a specified official with established periodicity;
  • do not leave the population center where they are registered, residing or staying, without permission of the investigator, prosecutor or court;
  • inform the investigator, prosecutor or the court of the changes in their place of residence and/or work;
  • refrain from communicating with any person specified by the investigating magistrate, court; or only communicate with them under conditions established by the investigating magistrate or the court;
  • refrain from visiting places specified by the investigating magistrate or the court;
  • undergo a course of treatment against drug or alcohol dependence;
  • make efforts to study or find employment;
  • leave their foreign passport(s) or other documents authorizing them to leave or enter Ukraine, for storage with appropriate bodies of state power;
  • wear an electronic monitoring device.

The effective term of the ruling of the investigating magistrate or the court on custody or extending the term of custody may not exceed sixty days (Article 197 of the Code). The term of custody may be extended by the investigating magistrate within the term of pre-trial investigation. The total term of custody for a suspect or accused during pre-trial investigation must not exceed:
  • six months in criminal proceedings on crimes of low or medium gravity;
  • twelve months in criminal proceedings on grave and especially grave crimes.

According to Article 207 of the Code, no one may be detained without a ruling of the investigating magistrate or the court, except for cases provided for by the Code. Everyone has the right to detain a person without a ruling of the investigating magistrate or the court:
  • while a criminal offence is being committed or attempted;
  • immediately after a criminal offence has been committed, or during hot pursuit of a person suspected of the criminal offence.

Chapter III of the Code establishes the procedure for pre-trial investigation.

Pre-trial investigation begins when appropriate information is entered into the Single Register of Pre-Trial Investigations. The Provision on the Single Register of Pre-Trial Investigations and the procedure on its creation and maintaining are approved by the General Prosecutor Office of Ukraine, with approval of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine, and the body monitoring adherence to the tax legislation (Article 214 of the Code).

The investigative jurisdiction is determined by Article 216 of the Code.

Articles 223-245 of the Code establish the procedure for carrying out investigative (inquiry) actions.

Interrogation may not last over 2 hours without a break, or over 8 hours during one day (Article 224 of the Code). According to Article 232 of the Code, interrogation of persons and identification of persons or objects during pre-trial investigation can be carried out as a video conference transmitted from another premises (remote pre-trial investigation) in the following cases:
  • certain persons cannot directly take part in pre-trial proceedings for health reasons or other valid reasons;
  • safety of certain persons must be ensured;
  • minors or juvenile witnesses or injured persons are being questioned;
  • the above measures are required to ensure the promptness of the pre-trial investigation;
  • other reasons that are deemed sufficient by the investigator, prosecutor or the investigating magistrate.

Section 21 of the Code is dedicated to secret investigation (inquiry) activities. Secret investigation (inquiry) activities are a type of secret investigation (inquiry) activities the fact and methods of which are not subject to disclosure. Secret investigation (inquiry) activities are carried out in cases when information about the crime and the person who committed it cannot be procured otherwise (Article 246 of the Code). The Code provides for the following types of secret investigating activities:
  • interfering with private communication (audio or video monitoring of a person; arrest, inspection and seizure of correspondence; collecting information from transport telecommunication networks; collecting information from electronic information systems);
  • inspecting places not open to the public, the residence or other premises of the person;
  • establishing location of a radioelectronic device;
  • observing a person, item or place;
  • audio or video surveillance of a place;
  • monitoring a crime in progress;
  • carrying out a special task in uncovering the criminal activity of an organized group or criminal organization.

The reasons and procedure for terminating a pre-trial investigation are envisaged by Article 280 of the Code.

According to Article 283 of the Code, a person has the right to have the accusations against them reviewed in court as soon as possible, or to have the accusations lifted by means of the proceedings being closed. After a person is informed of the suspicions against them, the prosecutor shall, as soon as possible, do one of the following:
  • close the criminal proceedings;
  • address the court with a petition to relieve the person of criminal liability;
  • address the court with a bill indictment or a petition to use compulsory medical treatment or measures of educational influence.
The prosecutor enters information about the conclusion of pre-trial investigation to the Single Register of Pre-Trial Investigation.

Section 25 of the Code determines the specifics of pre-trial investigation of criminal offences.

According to part 3, Article 307 of the Code, the ruling of an investigating magistrate based on the results of reviewing a complaint against the decision, action or inaction of an investigator or a prosecutor cannot be contested, except for a ruling to deny satisfaction to a complaint against a resolution to close criminal proceedings.

According to part 4, Article 313 of the Code, the decision of an official of a prosecution body of the highest level is final and is not subject to being contested with court, other bodies of state power, or their officials or civil servants.

Chapter IV of the Code establishes the procedure for court proceedings in the first instance.

A court session is held in specially equipped premises a courtroom; if necessary, specific procedural actions may be carried out outside of a courtroom (part 3, Article 318 of the Code).

Court hearing in criminal proceedings must be carried out by the same panel of judges. If a judge is unable to take part in the session, they must be replaced by another judge (Article 319 of the Code).

According to Article 337 of the Code, court hearing is only carried out in respect of a person being accused, and only within the scope of the accusation presented according to the bill of indictment. During court hearing, the prosecutor may change the charges, present additional charges or refuse to support the charges.

The procedure for court hearing is established by Articles 342 - 368 of the Code.

A court resolution in which the court decides on the essence of the charges is presented in form of a verdict. A court resolution in which the court resolves other issues is presented in form of a ruling (Article 369 of the Code).

The procedure of adopting court resolutions and their form are determined by Article 371 of the Code.

The resolution of the court is announced publicly, immediately after the court leaves the consultation room. The head of the court session explains the essence of the resolution, and the procedure and terms for contesting it. After the verdict is announced, the head of the session explains to the accused, defense attorney, their legal representative, injured person and their representative their right to file a petition for clemency, and the right to see the court session log and make written comments to it. If preventive measures in form of custody were applied to the accused, they are informed of the right to file a petition to be taken to the court session of the court of appeal. Rulings made at the court session are declared immediately after being made. Participants of court proceedings have the right to receive a copy of the courts verdict or ruling in court. A copy of the verdict is given to the accused and the prosecutor immediately after the verdict is announced (Article 376 of the Code).

According to Article 383 of the Code, a jury is created with the local ordinary court of first instance.

During the preparatory court session, a person accused of a crime punishable by life in prison has the right to file a petition requesting that criminal proceedings against them are held by a jury (Article 384 of the Code).

The rights and obligations of a juror are determined by Article 386 of the Code.

Article 387 of the Code determines the procedure for selecting jurors for a court.

The jury advisement is presided by the head, who presents, one after another, each of the issues that must be resolved by the court to approve a verdict, conducts an open vote, and counts the votes. All issues are decided by an ordinary majority vote. The head votes last. No member of the jury has the right to abstain from voting, except for cases when the measure of punishment is being decided on, and the judge or the juror had voted to acquit the accused. In this case the vote of the abstaining juror is added to votes given to the option that favors the accused. Any disagreement on which decision is more favorable for the accused is resolved by voting. Any member of the jury may separately present their opinion in writing; this written statement will not be announced in the court session, but is included in the proceedings file and is available for examination (Article 391 of the Code).

The procedure for court proceedings for contesting court resolutions is determined by Chapter V of the Code.

According to Article 395 of the Code, an appeal is filed:
  • against court resolutions approved by the court of first instance through the court that approved the court resolution;
  • against rulings of the investigating magistrate directly to the court of appeal.
Unless otherwise envisaged by the court, an appeal can be filed:
  • against a verdict or ruling to apply or refuse to apply compulsory medical treatment or measures of educational influence during 30 days after they were announced;
  • against other rulings of the court of first instance during 7 days after it was announced;
  • against a ruling of an investigating magistrate during 5 days after it was announced.

Article 407 of the Code envisages that based on the results of the appeal hearing of the appeal against a verdict or ruling of a court of first instance, the court of appeal has the right to:
  • leave the verdict or ruling unchanged;
  • change the verdict or ruling;
  • withdraw the verdict in full or in part and approve a new verdict;
  • withdraw the ruling in full or in part and approve a new ruling;
  • withdraw the verdict or ruling and close criminal proceedings;
  • withdraw the verdict or ruling and appoint a new hearing in the court of first instance.

A guilty verdict approved by the court of first instance may be withdrawn in order to apply a law on a graver criminal offence or a heavier punishment, cancel the wrongful relief of the accused from serving the sentence, increase the amount to be collected, or in other cases when it aggravates the condition of the accused only when the appeal for these reasons was filed by the prosecutor, the injured person or their representative. An innocent verdict approved by the court of first instance may be withdrawn only if the appeal was filed by the prosecutor, the injured person or their representative, or on the basis of the appeal of the accused or his defense attorney, for motives and reasons of exoneration (Article 421 of the Code).

According to Article 424 of the Code, the cassation procedure can be used to contest verdicts and rulings to apply or refuse to apply compulsory medical treatment or measures of educational influence made by the court of first instance, after they were reviewed under the appeal procedure; as well to contest resolutions of the court of appeal made in respect of the above court resolutions of the court of first instance. After being reviewed under the appeal procedure, rulings of the court of first instance and rulings of the court of appeal can be contested under the cassation procedure, if they interfere with further criminal proceedings. Objections to other rulings can be included into the cassation appeal against the court resolution made based on the results of the appeal proceedings.

A cassation appeal is filed directly to the court of cassation. A cassation appeal against court resolutions can be filed within 3 months after the court resolution was announced by the court of appeal; by the accused held in custody, it can be filed within the same term after receiving a copy of the court resolution (Article 426 of the Code).

Requirements to the cassation appeal are set by Article 427 of the Code.

A court of cassation checks the correct application of the norms of material and procedural rights by the court of first instance and the court of appeal, and their legal treatment of the circumstances; it has no right to examine evidence, establish or recognize circumstances that were not established in the court resolution being contested, or to decide on the credibility of any piece of evidence. A court of cassation reviews the court resolutions of the court of first instance and the court of appeal, within the scope of the cassation appeal. A court of cassation has the right to exceed the scope of the cassation remands if this does not aggravate the condition of the convict, acquitted or a considered for compulsory medical treatment or measures of educational influence. If satisfying the appeal provides grounds to make a decision in favor of other convicts who did not file appeals, the court of cassation must make such a decision. (Article 433 of the Code).

According to Article 436 of the Code, based on the results of reviewing a cassation appeal, a court of cassation has the right to:
  • leave the court resolution unchanged and the cassation appeal unsatisfied;
  • withdraw the court resolution and appoint a new hearing in the court of first instance or court of appeal;
  • withdraw the court resolution and close criminal proceedings;
  • withdraw the court resolution.

Article 445 of the Code envisages the following reasons for the Supreme Court of Ukraine to review court resolutions that became effective:
  • disparate application of the same Ukrainian criminal law standards to similar socially dangerous acts by courts of cassation (except for issues of imposition of punishment, relief from punishment and relief of criminal liability) that resulted in adoption of court resolutions of disparate content;
  • a resolution of an international organization whose jurisdiction is recognized by Ukraine, stating that Ukraine has committed violation of its international obligation during the court proceedings in a case.

Article 449 of the Code envisages that an application to review a court resolution is filed to the Supreme Court of Ukraine through the High Specialized Court of Ukraine for Civil and Criminal Cases.

An application to review a court resolution received by the High Specialized Court of Ukraine for Civil and Criminal Cases is registered on the day of its receipt and is forwarded to the reporting judge no later than on the following day (Article 450 of the Code). The reporting judge checks the conformance of the claim to the requirements of the Code within three days. If the claim was filed without conforming to the requirements to Articles 448 and 449 of the Code, the claimant is informed in writing about the defects of the claim and the term during which they must be eliminated. If the applicant eliminates the defects within the specified term, the claim is considered filed on the day of its first being filed to the High Specialized Court of Ukraine for Civil and Criminal Cases. The claim is returned to the claimant in the following cases:
  • the claimant failed to eliminate the defects during the set term;
  • the claim was filed by a person who is not entitled to file such claims;
  • the claim was filed on behalf of a person who does not have appropriate authority;
  • an existing  ruling of the High Specialized Court of Ukraine for Civil and Criminal Cases, made for similar reasons, denies proceeding of the case based on the results of its review.

The procedure for the claim review by the Supreme Court of Ukraine is determined by Article 453 of the Code.

Section 34 of the Code establishes the procedure for proceedings based on discovery of new evidence.

Chapter VI of the Code provides for special procedures for criminal proceedings.

According to Article 468 of the Code, the following types of agreements can be reached in the course of criminal proceedings:
  • conciliation agreement between the injured person and the suspect or the accused;
  • plea agreement between the prosecutor and the suspect or the accused.

The consequences of reaching and approving the above agreements are envisaged by Article 473 of the Code.

The specifics and procedure of criminal proceedings in the form of private prosecution are envisaged by Section 36 of the Code.

Section 37 of the Code establishes specifics of criminal proceedings regarding:
  • a peoples deputy of Ukraine;
  • a judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, a professional judge, or a juror or peoples assessor during administration of justice;
  • a presidential candidate of Ukraine;
  • the Authorized Human Rights Representative of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine;
  • the Head of the Accounting Chamber, his first deputy, deputy, chief controller and secretary of the Accounting Chamber;
  • a deputy of the local council;
  • an attorney;
  • the General Prosecutor of Ukraine or his deputy.

Criminal proceedings against minors are provided for by section 38 of the Code.

Criminal proceedings on the use of compulsory measures of educational influence provided for by the Ukrainian criminal law are carried out when a person aged between eleven and the age of criminal discretion commits a socially dangerous act that falls within the definition of an act provided for by the Ukrainian criminal law (Article 498 of the Code).


According to Article 503 of the Code, criminal proceedings on the use of compulsory medical treatment provided for by the Ukrainian criminal law is carried out in the presence of sufficient grounds to believe that:
  • the person committed the socially dangerous provided for by the Ukrainian criminal law in a state of legal insanity;
  • the person committed the criminal offence in a state of mental capacity, but succumbed to a mental illness before the verdict was reached.

According to part 3, Article 514 of the Code, the issue of continuing, changing or cancelling compulsory medical treatment is reviewed by petition of a representative of the medical facility where the person in question is kept.

The procedure for criminal proceedings containing state secrets is determined by section 40 of the Code.

Section 41 of the Code establishes the procedure for criminal proceedings on the territory of diplomatic missions and consular institutions of Ukraine, on an aircraft, sea or river vessel flying the Ukrainian colors or bearing Ukrainian identification outside of Ukraine, if such vessel is registered in a port located in Ukraine.

If necessary, the method, terms and procedure for enforcing a court resolution may be determined in the resolution. A court resolution that has become effective or is enforceable immediately is subject to unconditional enforcement. An innocent verdict or a court resolution that frees the accused from custody is carried out in this part immediately after being announced in the court room (Article 534 of the Code).

The procedure for the court resolution of issues related to the enforcement of the verdict is envisaged by Article 539 of the Code.

Chapter IX of the Code is dedicated to international cooperation during criminal proceedings.

The Code declares ineffective the Criminal Procedural Code of Ukraine of December 28, 1960.
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