Ukraine

Democratic Security Sector Governance

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A sustained degree of motivation and focused activity by interested parliamentarians is a prerequisite of effective oversight of the security sector. The authority of parliamentarians on security sector oversight issues derives from the credibility of their oversight activities and their ability to monitor and engage with the public, government, and security institutions on oversight issues.

The individual and collective effectiveness of parliamentarians in general, not only in terms of their ability to monitor human rights and security sector actors, is often described in terms of ‘authority, ability and attitude’. Well-motivated parliamentarians can use the plenary and committee formats to highlight challenges to security policy and practice. Without such proactive engagement by parliamentarians, the ability to effect change is limited.

The role of parliamentarians is multi-faceted:

  • determining the legal framework for security policy and practice;
  • monitoring, debating and shaping policy and practice in plenary sessions and in specialised committees, including not only those dealing with defence, law enforcement and intelligence oversight, but also human rights, audit, budget and finance committees;
  • approving, developing or rejecting policy, laws and budgets; and involvement in the appointment processes for senior posts within the security institutions to minimize any political interference
  • engaging with civil society, ombuds institutions, media, security sector institutions and government to identify problems with security sector policies and practices and to subsequently identify relevant solutions

Conducting these proactive oversight activities can serve as a catalyst for change in the security sector: once parliamentarians publicly or privately highlight a particular oversight challenge, the issue is usually assigned a higher priority by government, institutions and the security sector itself.

Resources

General:

Hans Born, Philipp Fluri, Anders Johnsson, Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector: Principles, Mechanisms and Practices, Handbook for Parliamentarians No. 5, (Geneva, 2003).

For general guidance, also see: Office for Promotion of Parliamentary Democracy, European Parliament, Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector, (European Parliament: OPPD, 2013),

For NATO and NATO partner nations, see:

Eden Cole, Philipp Fluri, Simon Lunn (eds.), Oversight and Guidance: Parliaments and Security Sector Governance, (Geneva: 2015)

Hans Born, Philipp H. Fluri, Simon Lunn (eds.), Oversight and Guidance: The Relevance of Parliamentary Oversight for the Security Sector, (Geneva, 2003). Second edition (Geneva 2010), here.

For detailed guidance on Parliament’s powers in relation to security sector oversight, see:

Teodora Fuior, Parliamentary Powers in Security Governance, (Geneva, 2011).

OSCE PCU, & Verkhovna Rada and & Ministry of Defence Visit to DCAF and GICHD 10-12/10/16

At the request of the OSCE Project-Coordinator in Ukraine, DCAF and GICHD (Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining) hosted a delegation from the Verkhovna Rada and the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine to brief them on DCAF and GICHD’s work. … read more

OSCE PCU, & Verkhovna Rada and & Ministry of Defence Visit to DCAF and GICHD 10-12 October 2016

At the request of the OSCE Project-Coordinator in Ukraine, DCAF and GICHD (Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining) will host a delegation from the Verkhovna Rada and the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine between 10 and 12 of October 2016. T … read more

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Parliaments have a vital role to play in the good governance of the security sector and the provision of transparent and accountable public security. This handbook is divided into eight sections, each containing several chapters and can be read in two … read more

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