CHESNO's Legal Principles
CHESNO disseminates information about persons, who run or can run for a seat in Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine, in accordance with provisions of the Constitution of Ukraine governing the freedom of expression and the assurance of the free expression of will at elections. Activities of CHESNO are focused on providing voters with an opportunity to access various and impartial information needed for making a conscious, informed and free choice (Article 63 of the Law of Ukraine "On Election of People's Deputies of Ukraine"). While doing so, CHESNO adheres to principles of impartiality, balance, trueness, completeness and accuracy of the disseminated information.
1. Personal Information
· CHESNO relies on the information collected solely from the open and publicly accessible sources. That is, the information in question has already been published, is accessible for viewing and further dissemination to the public at large and, accordingly, may not be treated as the confidential personal information.
· Also, CHESNO assumes that personal data of a person, who occupies, or runs for, an elective office in a representative body (for instance, who is a member of Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine, or runs for a seat in the parliament), shall not be treated as the information subject to restricted-access procedures in accordance with Article 5 of the Law of Ukraine "On Personal Data Protection".
· Furthermore, the information about facts of the violation of human rights and freedoms, illegal acts of state authorities, local self-government bodies, their officers and officials may not be classified as the information subject to restricted-access procedures (or, for instance, as the confidential personal information) in accordance with Article 21 of the Law of Ukraine "On Information".
· CHESNO is not obliged to notify a person that his or her data are being collected and processed, because the information is obtained from publicly accessible sources (Article 12 of the Law of Ukraine "On Personal Data Protection").
· CHESNO processes personal data of candidates in a database. The database will be registered in accordance with the procedure prescribed by law.
2. Dissemination of the Negative Information
· CHESNO does not make any claims that facts of the unlawful or unethical conduct are proven (for instance, in respect of the violation of human rights by an individual or the inconsistency of the lifestyle of an individual with the declared income).
· CHESNO does not make any claims that the guilt of an individual in committing an offence is proven, unless his or her guilt has been established by court.
· CHESNO makes an estimate of the probability of an individual's being implicated in an offence or unethical conduct, and disseminates the information, only if the probability thereof in the opinion of CHESNO is high and is based upon factual data published in trustworthy sources.
· Thus, CHESNO hereby specifically emphasizes that claims of the conformity with Criteria #1 (Clean record on human rights and freedoms), #3 (No involvement in corruption) and #4 (Transparency and consistency between income and asset declarations, and the lifestyle) are merely value judgments by CHESNO.
· CHESNO's value judgments are not subject to refutation or proof of their veracity (Article 30 of the Law of Ukraine "On Information"), which is in line with international standards of protection of the freedom of speech, including, for instance, the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, which is obligatory for the application and according to which the value judgments do not require proof (see, inter alia, rulings in cases Lingens v. Austria, Ukrainian Media Group v. Ukraine). CHESNO is not obliged to verify the accuracy of the information obtained from official sources, and is not liable in case of its refutation (Article 302 of the Civil Code of Ukraine). For instance, this information includes: information about the written or electronic registration of a member of parliament; the migration to a different faction; the information obtained in response to an inquiry or petition addressed to a state authority or a local self-government body; other information obtained from official sources.
3. Pre-election Campaigning
· CHESNO complies with pre-election campaigning provisions of the Law of Ukraine "On Election of People's Deputies of Ukraine". CHESNO does not engage into the pre-election campaigning: it does not encourage voters to vote in favor or against a particular candidate (or party ticket). CHESNO's materials are disseminated for the purposes of informing voters about candidates.
· Mass media, which disseminate the information from or about CHESNO, must avoid campaigning in favor or against a particular party or candidate, refrain from expressions or from placing materials aimed at encouraging voters to vote or not to vote for a particular party or candidate while doing so. Such campaigning and materials during the electoral process may be treated as the violation of the Law of Ukraine "On Election of People's Deputies of Ukraine".
4. Right to Respond
· CHESNO grants the dissenting person, about whom information has been disseminated, an opportunity to respond to a reasonable extent in accordance with Article 30 of the Law of Ukraine "On Information". The response will be published on CHESNO's web site on the profile page of the relevant candidate.