We would like to invite you to the RPR reforms breakfast “Аnticorruption courts for Ukraine: model and advocacy perspectives” (for diplomats, representatives of international institutions and foreign correspondents), which will be held on Wednesday, February 8, at 9.30 am-11.30 am at the RPR office (6 Olhynska St., 2nd floor, office 21).
One of the most widely-felt results of the judicial reform brought by the Constitutional amendments was the change of the procedure for detaining judges caught at taking bribes: since September 30, 2016 NABU detectives did not need to wait for Rada’s consent anymore, which eliminated the opportunities for suspect to flee the country and escape justice. However, just 3,5 months later, on January 16, 2017, the High Council of Justice issued a public appeal calling to preserve immunity of judges and stressing that any decision on judges’ detention cannot be taken without Council’s consent (even if a judge is caught red-handed at accepting bribes). Paragraph 3.4 of the explanatory note to the Constitutional amendments regarding judiciary, signed by Deputy Head of Presidential Administration Mr. Oleksiy Filatov, clearly states that “…a judge can be detained or kept in custody before judgement of conviction is issued without the consent of the HCJ in case a judge was detained or kept in custody during or right after committing serious or particularly serious crime”.
Necessity to receive consent of the HCJ leaves law enforcement bodies, including NABU, without effective tool to prevent corrupt judges from escaping justice. A judge can be detained for not more than 72 hours, while legally established term for the HCJ to consider consent on keeping the judge in custody is 120 hours; corrupt judges are released after 72 hours and are then free to leave the country. As a result, already on January 29, 2017 a judge of Solomyanskyi court, caught at accepting USD 22,000 bribe, was released because the HCJ could not manage to grant a consent timely – and this shameful practice will most likely continue.
How to break this vicious circle? What should be done to ensure that fight against high-profile corruption (including judicial) brings tangible results? Would existing judicial councils in charge of selecting judges be able to secure real independence and impartiality of anticorruption courts? How to ensure transparent and independent selection of anticorruption judges with participation of international community? How to form political will for creation of really independent anticorruption courts?
These and other issues will be discussed during the event by the following experts:
Yegor Sobolyev, MP, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Fighting against Corruption (TBC);
Anastasia Krasnosilska, expert of the Anticorruption Action Center, RPR expert on anticorruption;
Andriy Slyusar, expert of the Transparency International Ukraine, RPR expert on anticorruption.
Please kindly confirm your participation by filling the registration form.