CIVIL SOCIETY CALLS ON THE AUTHORITIES TO ENSURE THE CRUCIAL ROLE IN THE SELECTION OF HIGH ANTI-CORRUPTION COURT JUDGES TO INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS

In the run-up to the final voting for the law draft “On the High Anti-corruption Court” No. 7440, experts of the Anti-corruption Group of Reanimation Package of Reforms once again emphasize crucial importance of the final draft law to meet all the requirements of the International Monetary Fund, which are in line with the recommendations of the Venice Commission.

RPR believes that entrusting international experts with the crucial role in the selection of anti-corruption judges is absolutely crucial. Civil society experts stress unacceptability of any legislative suggestions aimed at depriving international experts of the right to veto candidates unfit for the positions of High Anti-corruption Court judges. At the same time, we support establishing candidates’ right to appeal negative conclusions of the Public Council of International Experts (PCIE) regarding their adequacy for respective positions, provided that previous negative conclusions are reversed by the majority of the PCIE members’ votes.

The requirement to give the crucial role in the selection of anti-corruption judges to the international experts fully meets expectations of the Ukrainian society. In particular, according to the survey conducted by Democratic Initiatives Foundation in the early 2018, 41% of Ukrainians would prefer entrusting Western experts with the formation of the High Anti-corruption Court, while only 10% of the population trusted the existing government authorities in charge of selecting judges.

In view of this, Anti-corruption Group of the civil society coalition Reanimation Package of Reforms calls to include in the law draft lawOn the High Anti-corruption Courtthe following provisions:

  1. giving international experts crucial role in the selection of the High Anti-corruption Court judges, including legal mechanisms to overrule negative conclusions of the PCIE on the sole condition that the majority of PCIE members support this decision;
  2. granting the right to nominate candidates for the membership in the PCIE only to those international intergovernmental organizations that have directly or via their member states provided financial support for the implementation of anticorruption reform in Ukraine;
  3. ruling out the possibility of transferring the cases in the jurisdiction of the High Anti-corruption Court to other courts, particularly in case of impossibility to form a collegium of judges including at least one judge with a prior judicial experience.

RPR experts emphasize: any manipulations aimed at neutralizing the crucial role of international experts in the selection of anti-corruption judges raise doubts regarding the sincerity of the governments intention to create an independent anti-corruption court and undermine the trust in the government on the part of Ukrainian citizens and international partners.

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