Resignation of Vitaliy Kasko on February 15, 2016, negates the expectations of the Ukrainian society, the reformists in government, the experts, and the international partners to implement the reform of the prosecutor’s office in Ukraine.
Although two years have already passed since the Revolution of Dignity, there is no accountable and transparent prosecutor’s office in Ukraine guided exclusively by legislation and the rule of law.
The prosecutor’s office has become a major reason of public disbelief in the justice and the possibility of changes. According to the latest public opinion poll, only 7% of the citizens trust the prosecutor’s office.
Thus, due to the policy of several Prosecutors General (especially Viktor Shokin), over the last two years the prosecutor’s office:
- has not delivered a verdict in any (!) criminal trial against former officials employed during the presidency of Yanukovych, even though the new legislation has formalized consideration of cases in absentia;
- has not ensured extension of EU sanctions against a number of former officials employed during the presidency of Yanukovych;
- restored the former shameful practice of commencing criminal proceedings on the basis of politically motivated accusations;
- has prevented a reboot of prosecution system despite the possibility formalized by law. Only a dozen of new deputy heads of the local prosecutor’s offices out of 5,800 prosecutors is a results of such ‘reboot’;
- continues to abuse the Soviet function of general supervision, which leads to corruption and negatively affects investment attractiveness of the country;
- violates the law whereby all orders of the Prosecutor General shall be published and registered at the Ministry of Justice, thus hiding all important decisions from the public.
We, members of the expert community, demand that the President, the Verkhovna Rada, and the Cabinet of Ministers urgently take the following steps regarding the reform of the prosecutor’s office:
- To dismiss Viktor Shokin, Prosecutor General of Ukraine;
- To ensure that a Qualification and Disciplinary Commission of the prosecutors is set up by April 15, 2016;
- To introduce prosecutors – citizens of the EU member states, the USA or Canada – into the Qualification and Disciplinary Commission to ensure its transparency and independence;
- To have the new Qualification and Disciplinary Commission hold an open competition to fill in all the offices at the regional prosecutor’s offices and the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine;
- To bring the wage framework in line with the legislation. It will allow to recruit the lawyers with no prosecutorial experience to the prosecutor’s offices.
the Reanimation Package of Reforms civil platform