Lately, media have often claimed that the Reanimation Package of Reforms and its members suggest (suggested) “dismissing all the judges”, and that the RPR experts reduce the reform to this alleged dismissal only.
In view of these claims we would like to stress that the RPR has NEVER called for ‘dismissing all the judges.’ Persons spreading this information are either misinformed or wilfully distort the facts.
The RPR has consistently said that an effective judicial reform covers a number of measures which include but are not limited to an effective and fair renewal of the judicial corps. The mechanism of renewal should work in such a way that persons falling short of high standards of judicature shall not keep their positions, while decent and competent judges shall be granted an opportunity not only to continue working honestly, but also to be promoted to the courts of higher level.
Therefore, the RPR experts have repeatedly voiced their demands to call a transparent and fair competition to fill in the vacancies of judges at the newly established courts. Both sitting judges, and other professional lawyers shall be entitled to participate in this competition. It will provide fair judges with a possibility to prove that they comply with the high standards of judicature and occupy a position according to their qualification level, while other highly qualified and conscientious legal experts will have a chance to be hired instead of the judges who brought discredit upon themselves and the judiciary as a whole.
Thus, the RPR insists that an effective judicial reform is impossible without:
(political bodies shall no longer be responsible for the career of judges – appointment, transfer, and dismissal of judges; judges elected by judges should form the majority of a qualification and disciplinary body);
(appropriate salaries, providing the judges with comfortable court rooms and offices);
(effective alternative ways to settle minor disputes, introduction of electronic trial);
(setting up a single agency responsible for qualification and disciplinary procedures and, at the same time, acting as a judicial self-government body in an open and transparent manner; transition to a three-tier system of courts);
(transparent and fair competition to guarantee that all judges and professional lawyers who meet the criteria of integrity and independence and have impeccable reputation and professional experience can be employed at the reorganized courts of higher level – the Supreme Court of Ukraine and courts of appeal; a transparent competition will secure public trust and deprive the representatives of the executive and legislative authorities of a chance to accuse the judges wrongly or to shift the responsibility on them);
(preserving the right to get a retirement allowance);
(protecting the judges who inform about the pressure and bring the persons exerting the pressure to responsibility)