Civil society organizations call on the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky not to appoint those candidates, who were submitted by the High Council of Justice and have a negative opinion of the Public Integrity Council and have not passed the qualification assessment in accordance with the law.
On November 18, the High Council of Justice, along with judicial and advocacy organizations, appealed to President Volodymyr Zelensky to appoint judges ostensibly to resolve the personnel crisis in Ukrainian courts. At the same time, 91 out of 135 judges nominated to the President by the High Council of Justice have a negative opinion of the Public Integrity Council and have not passed the qualification assessment.
Article 127 of the Constitution stipulates that only competent and virtuous citizens can be appointed to the position of a judge. In order to establish compliance with these criteria, a special procedure has been introduced – qualification assessment of judges with the participation of the Public Integrity Council. Only those judges who have confirmed their suitability for the position can be appointed for an indefinite term.
To appoint a person as a judge, in accordance with Art. 88 of the Law “On the Judiciary and the Status of Judges”, 11 members of the High Qualification Commission of Judges, which has not been operating since 2019, must vote for it. The appointment of judges without such a procedure is illegal. In fact, the High Council of Justice calls on the President of Ukraine to grossly violate Ukrainian law.
In addition, among the candidates submitted by the High Council of Justice are odious judges, such as Maidan Judge Viktor Kytsiuk, who persecuted protesters for traveling to Mezhyhirya. On June 26, 2018, HQCJ stopped evaluating Kytsiuk, ie he did not even complete the testing and did not pass the interview. Among the other candidates is Judge Eduard Bovkun, who was caught taking bribes in 2010. He was tried, but the case was dubiously closed, and he has not administered justice since. The public appealed to the High Council of Justice to stop breaking the law, but with no results.
In view of this, CSOs call on the President to leave the submission of the High Council of Justice on the appointment of persons for whom there is no decision on their suitability for the position without consideration. The Competition Commission will soon start working to reset the High Qualifications Commission of Judges, which should complete the evaluation procedure of judges with negative conclusions by the PIC.
The statement was signed by: