On July 14, 2021, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, at the initiative of the President, adopted an important decision for the country on the mechanism of cleansing and qualitative renewal of the High Council of Justice, giving a crucial role to international experts in selecting members of this governing body. This decision was a step towards fulfilling Ukraine’s international obligations, was widely welcomed by civil society and gave hope for real judicial reform.
The law provides for the formation of an Ethics Council, a body that will be responsible for evaluating existing and selecting new virtuous HCJ members. The members of the Ethics Council were to be three representatives of the judicial community, delegated by the Council of Judges of Ukraine, as well as international experts. Last week, international organizations and partners of Ukraine nominated the best world-class experts to the Ethics Council.
Instead, on September 13, the Council of Judges was reluctant to elect its representatives to the Ethics Commission, despite the availability of worthy candidates, blocking the cleansing and updating of the HCJ and sabotaging the implementation of the law.
The Council of Judges of Ukraine has a choice – to start the long-awaited renewal of the judiciary, which determines the implementation of the Constitution on the irreversibility of the European and Euro-Atlantic course of Ukraine, or to preserve a system of bail and corruption.
The RPR Coalition calls on the Council of Judges of Ukraine not to delay the implementation of the law and to delegate representatives of the judiciary to the Ethics Council as soon as possible.