On March 14, an extraordinary Congress of Judges began, and the main item on its agenda is election of six new members to the High Council of Justice. On Tuesday morning before the Congress, activists of the CHESNO movement, Anti-Corruption Action Center and Automaidan gathered at the Zhovtnevyi Palace (where more than 300 judges-delegates to the Congress assembled), organized an “alley of the unjust”, and urged not to elect candidates from the activists’ “black list” to the HCJ.
On Tuesday, following a vote, the first two members of the judicial community were elected to the HCJ – i.e. Mykola Khudyk (Kyiv City Court of Appeal) and Viktor Shapran (judge of the Kyiv Economic Court of Appeal).
However, we are extremely concerned about the fact the “second round” will include some candidates who, if elected members of the High Council of Justice, could lead to a new aggravation of the public distrust in the judiciary, competitive procedures, and judicial reform in general.
The CHESNO Movement, Anti-Corruption Action Center, Automaidan and RPR group on judicial reform call upon the delegates of the Congress of Judges not to elect to the High Council of Justice the following persons:
We draw your attention especially to the former Chairman of the Higher Specialized Court of Ukraine (HSCU) Andriy Solodkov. There are considerable doubts concerning the fairness of the procedures for his career promotion, there is information about his close ties with people who personify the regime that led to such a deplorable state of the judiciary and to the thousands of victims on Maidan and on the frontline. He was the Chairman of the Court of Cassation during the Maidan time, when unlawful decisions against activists were passed en masse. There are reasons to believe that chairmen of courts, including the Chairman of HSCU, were involved in organizing the large-scale process of passing such verdicts. Apart from the dubious reputation, the declaration of Andriy Solodkov and his family manifests discrepancies, opacity of earnings, part of the property seems to be hidden from declaration by way of registering it as property of family members who are not included in the declaration. Besides, his family members were found to be involved in suspicious transactions that make up the basis for criminal proceedings (Kernes cooperative case).
We urge to take another step towards restoring confidence in the judiciary and elect only the candidates who do not cause antagonism in society and whose integrity is beyond doubt.
CHESNO civic movement, campaign “CHESNO. Filter the Judiciary!”
Anti-Corruption Action Center
RPR group on judicial reform