Ukraine

Democratic Security Sector Governance

Parliamentary oversight of the security sector refers to the role the democratically-elected branch of the legislature plays in oversight and monitoring of security sector policies and practices. More broadly, parliamentary oversight is a critical component of legislative governance of the security sector.

The role of parliamentarians and parliamentary committees 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

Such activities presume a sustained degree of motivation and focused activity by interested parliamentarians. 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.

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

Maintaining a comprehensive legislative framework for oversight and management of security institutions is of critical importance. Such frameworks must be compatible with international obligations and universal human rights. Scrutiny of draft legislation, amendments to and the adoption, or rejection, of such laws are parliament’s fundamental responsibility. Without such consistent law-making activity the level of national oversight will become less effective overall.

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).

For oversight of intelligence services, see:

Hans Born and Aidan Wills (eds.), Overseeing Intelligence Services: A Toolkit, (Geneva: DCAF, 2012).

Hans Born and Ian Leigh, Making Intelligence Accountable, (DCAF-University of Durham, Parliament of Norway, 2005).

International Standards of Financial Oversight in the Security Sector

This Toolkit provides readers with easy access to internationally-adopted guiding principles, standards, and best practices of financial oversight of security sector institutions. The toolkit allows readers to access key international standards on budg … read more

Integrating Gender into Internal Police Oversight

Designed as a complement to the DCAF, OSCE/ODIHR, UN-INSTRAW Gender and Security Sector Reform Toolkit, and DCAF’s Gender Self-Assessment Guide, the guidance notes focus on integrating gender into systems and processes within police services and armed … read more

Oversight and Guidance: Parliaments and Security Sector Governance

This third version of the DCAF-NATO PA ‘Vademecum’ underlines the essential role that parliaments must play in ensuring democratic oversight of the security sector. Updating key information on best practices related to parliamentary oversight and guida … read more

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This Parliamentary Brief provides practitioners with a concise introduction in to the main concepts, strategies, and good practices in building integrity and dealing with corruption risks in the defence establishment.

Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces: A Handbook

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Legislating for the Security Sector Toolkit: Police Legislation Model: The Swedish Police Act

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Legislating for the Security Sector Toolkit: The Argentinian National Intelligence Law

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Legislating for the Security Sector Toolkit: The Netherlands’ Intelligence and Security Services Act

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Legislating for the Security Sector Toolkit: Compilation of Good Practices for Intelligence Agencies and their Oversight

The Compilation of Good Practices within the Security Sector Toolkit highlights the legal and institutional frameworks and measures that ensure respect for human rights by intelligence agencies while countering terrorism. The toolkit also identifies in … read more

Legislating for the Security Sector Toolkit: Strengthening Financial Oversight in the Security Sector

The toolkit contains a number of booklets in English, French, and Arabic that provide norms and standards, guidebooks, and practical examples of model laws in various areas of security sector legislation. Some specific publications within the Toolkit d … read more

Parliamentary Powers in Security Sector Governance

This publication contains two sections: First, an introductory text on parliamentary oversight with the aim to help parliamentarians and non-parliamentarians alike to understand what the powers of an ambitious, competent and well-prepared parliament an … read more

Gender Self-Assessment Guide for the Police, Armed Forces and Justice Sector

This self-assessment guide is a tool for assessing the gender responsiveness of a security sector institution. A gender-responsive security sector institution is one that both meets the distinct security and justice needs of men, women, boys and girls … read more

Oversight and Guidance: The Relevance of Parliamentary Oversight for the Security Sector

This updated version of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly – DCAF Vademecum on Oversight and Guidance of the Security Sector, as with the first edition published in 2003, seeks to present information on parliamentary oversight and guidance of the security … read more

Almanac on Security Sector Governance in Ukraine 2010

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Legislating for the Security Sector Toolkit: International Police Standards guidebook on Democratic Policing

This toolkit contains international standards and principles of democratic policing. The guidebook is designed to assist OSCE staff dealing with police and law-enforcement issues as well as police practitioners and policy-makers working to develop and … read more

Political and Budgetary Oversight of the Ukrainian Intelligence Community

This publication addresses the problem of providing policy and budget oversight of Ukrainian intelligence organizations in accordance with norms and practices developed in contemporary Western democracies. As Ukraine continues the process of democratic … read more

Code of Good Practices on Fiscal Transparency

This Code of Good Practices illustrates the degree of transparency to which governments and their fiscal institutions ought to achieve. The code explains the clarity of roles and responsibilities, open-budget processes, public availability of informati … read more

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