Supervisory Board independence: in a search for resolving the problem


  • Oleksandr Kovalyshyn


legal transplant, legal borrowing, independent director, supervisory board, principle of codetermination, corporate governance, Ukraine


In the article, the author research the urgent issue of the application of legal borrowings (legal transplants) in the field of commercial law and corporate governance in Ukraine. It focuses on the fact that absolutely autonomous development of business law in the aspect of globalization and participation of Ukraine in the most international organizations is impossible. The process of implementation of legal borrowings is certainly accompanied by a number of advantages and disadvantages of their application. The minimization of the latter should be among the goals not only of comparative law, but also of the special legal sciences.
There are two main models of solving this problem in the world: American model proposes the concept of independent directors for improving the corporate governance; German model proposes mandatory participation of employees in the supervisory board (codetermination principle), which is reflected in the Fifth Directive and thus becomes compulsory for the all EU member-states.
The author analyzes the borrowed american model, which was embodied in the Law of Ukraine “On Joint Stock Companies”.
At the same time, it is emphasized the article that today there is a process of active integration into the European community, including the implementation of EU law standards. This applies in particular to the EU Company Law. Therefore, the European model of ensuring the independence of the supervisory board through the involvement of company employees (the principle of codetermination) is analyzed.
The author concludes that each of the existing models (american concept of independent directors or german mandatory participation of employees in the supervisory board (the principle of codetermination)) does not give confidence in achieving the goal of restraining the management from abuses and avoiding the company’s focus solely on satisfying the interests of shareholders without the interests of a state and society. However, in the context of the weakness of trade unions in Ukraine, their weak interaction with each other, the risk of dismissal without the possibility of finding an alternative job, it seems more appropriate at this stage of the socio-economic development of the Ukrainian company law to use the American concept of independent members of the supervisory board (independent directors).


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