(Feb. 3, 2009) On January 15, 2009, the Ukrainian legislature, the Verkhovna Rada, adopted the Law on Special Temporary Investigative Commissions, which simplifies the procedure for the legislative body to impeach the President. Previously, the impeachment procedure could be initiated on the basis of a petition signed by three-quarters of the parliamentarians. The new Law provides that the formation of a Special Investigative Commission is the formal beginning of the impeachment process. Such a Commission must be formed upon the request of a simple majority of the Rada's members. The original sponsors of a bill on the creation of a Special Investigative Commission cannot recall their signatures and withdraw the proposed bill. Legal justification and evidential materials must accompany the bill. The Law requires the Commission to finish its investigation within a three-month period, although the first report must be submitted to the Rada no later than at the end of the second month of its work. If the Commission's conclusion is supported by the Rada, the case will be submitted to the Supreme and Constitutional Courts.
A Commission is formed from among Members of the Rada who represent the existing parliamentary factions proportionally, plus a special prosecutor and three special investigators. Members of the Rada can be appointed as the special prosecutor and as the investigators. (Rada Simplified the Impeachment Procedure,GAZETA.RU, Jan. 15, 2009, available at http://www.gazeta.ru/news/lastnews/2009/01/15/n_1317757.shtml.)