Salus populi suprema lex . Marcus Tullius Cicero

Legal review of the provisions of the Law of Ukraine "On landscapes"
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 22:49


On the 23rd of February 2012 the Parliament of Ukraine passed the Law of Ukraine “On landscapes”. According to the preamble, the law is aimed at protection, management and planning of landscapes for their conservation and sustainable use to ensure environmental, cultural, recreational, economic & other needs of society.

This Law determines the purpose, principles and objectives of state regulation of landscapes; bodies, responsible for such regulation & some powers of the bodies.

We have to point out some disadvantages of the law that do not facilitate its effective implementation and do not contribute to fulfillment of the main purpose of the law.

In September 2005 Ukraine ratified the European Landscape Convention. Ukraine undertakes to recognize landscapes in law as an essential component of people’s surroundings, an expression of the diversity of their shared cultural and natural heritage, and a foundation of their identity; to establish and implement landscape policies; to establish procedures for the participation of the general public, local and regional authorities, and other parties; to integrate landscape into its regional and town planning policies and in its cultural, environmental, agricultural, social and economic policies, as well as in any other policies with possible direct or indirect impact on landscape. Article 6 of the Convention provides specific measures to be implemented by the parties on national level.

Article 21 of the Law stipulates that state control on implementing of legislation on landscapes protection and management should be carried according the law. Instead of this, the Law does not prescribe an order of such control.

Another problem is related to the liability for failure to implement standards established by the state, as responsibility issues are not envisaged by the law.

In accordance with “Final Provisions”, the Law comes into force on the next day after its publication. But it is sated that mechanisms for the implementation of the Law should be developed by the government within 1 year from the date of enactment of the law. Thus, the effective implementation of the Law is dependent on the government's action on the adoption of regulations, and not all provisions can be implemented straight after the publication of the law.

Article 21 of the Law determines public rights in the sphere of landscapes protection, management and planning. Article 5 of the Convention is related to the necessity to establish procedures for public participation on national levels. This provision obviously obliges the state to make an effort to develop procedures for public participation in the formation, development and implementation of landscape plans. These procedures are not regulated by this law.

Prepared by Andriy Petriv

Member of Council of EACLA