Reanimation package of reforms > News > Events > The new Anti-Corruption Strategy needs immediate adoption, but its implementation has already begun — expert

The new Anti-Corruption Strategy needs immediate adoption, but its implementation has already begun — expert

The Anti-Corruption Strategy for 2021–2025 is a comprehensive document that provides a significant number of measures to reduce the level of corruption in Ukraine. Therefore, it takes a long time to coordinate these activities with all stakeholders. This is how Roman Smalyuk, an expert at the Center for Political and Legal Reforms, explained the delay in approving the Anti-Corruption Strategy in the Parliament on the Rada TV channel.   

It should be mentioned that the Anti-Corruption Strategy for 2021–2025 (previously dated 2020–2024) was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers last year, and this year it was approved by the Verkhovna Rada in the first reading. According to the Speaker of the Parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk, the Anti-Corruption Strategy should be considered in the second reading this fall.

“However, some of the measures envisaged by the Anti-Corruption Strategy are already being implemented in the judiciary, as they were provided for in memoranda of cooperation with the IMF and the European Union,” Smalyuk explains.

“A strategy is needed: it is impossible to carry out any reforms without their vision. Therefore, the adoption of a new Anti-Corruption Strategy is an urgent issue, “said the expert.

One of the first points of the Anti-Corruption Strategy for 2021-2025 in the field of the judiciary is the reform of the High Qualifications Commission of Judges (HQCJ) and the High Council of Justice (HCJ).

The laws passed this summer are clearly in line with the measures planned in the Anti-Corruption Strategy. This is the relaunch of the competition for the HQCJ, the members of which will be selected by an independent commission with the participation of international experts, and the purge of the HCJ by an independent Ethics Council, which will also include representatives of the international community,” explains Roman Smalyuk. 

The involvement of international experts in the selection of HQCJ and HCJ is necessary for the transition phase, as all previous ways to reform the judiciary with the judges’ participation have failed. After the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, only 40 people were fired due to a qualifying evaluation of almost 3,000 judges. 

“Carrying out the reform by the object of reform itself does not yield results,” the CPLR expert states.

An essential innovation of the Anti-Corruption Strategy for 2021–2025 is the protection of whistleblowers. For example, a judge of the Oktyabrsky court of Poltava, Larysa Holnyk, recorded an attempt to bribe her while the court considered one of the local officials. After the publication of this case, the court chairman began to put pressure on her, creating intolerable working conditions.

“People should not be afraid to report corruption cases,” Smalyuk said.

It should be noted that the previous Anti-Corruption Strategy was envisaged for 2014-2017, i.e. for the fourth year in a row, there is no comprehensive anti-corruption document in Ukraine

Among the results of the Anti-Corruption Strategy for 2014-2017, Roman Smalyuk mentioned the establishment of the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption (NAPC), the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), the adoption of new anti-corruption legislation, the introduction of a register of electronic declarations.