The Ukrainian parliament is scheduled to debate two draft laws seeking to lift private investigators and legal entities de facto carrying out investigative activities from the regulatory limbo in which they currently operate.
Draft Law No. 1228 On Private Detective (Investigative) Activities was registered with parliament on 6 September 2019. Draft Law No. 1228-1 On Detective Services, which seeks to regulate private investigative activities in a different way, was submitted to the parliament on 20 September 2019.
Despite the differences between the two draft laws that, among other things, concern regulatory details and qualification requirements for private detectives, both bills call for state oversight of private investigative activities, including the following:
- determining who is permitted to carry out private investigations;
- ascertaining the scope of a private investigation (i.e. as opposed to the pre-trial criminal investigation by law enforcement authorities) and, in particular, the persons vested with the right to carry out investigative activities and collect evidence for court proceedings;
- setting out rules for private detectives in the handling of personal data and information with restricted access during the course of their activities; and
- introducing specific provisions on the liability of persons entitled to carry out investigative activities.
Although both draft laws require further improvements, the attempt by lawmakers to legalise and regulate investigative activities is considered a positive sign since the adoption of either bill will turn private investigations into a lawful and effective tool available to businesses and individuals for the protection of their legitimate interests.
The passage of these laws will improve the collection of evidence for court proceedings and in-depth due diligence checks on business counterparties.