On November 22, the Council of Judges at its meeting blocked the selection of members to the Competition Commission, which should select members to the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine (HQCJ). Today, judges refused to even consider the issue regarding the delegation of candidates to the Commission.
In October, the Verkhovna Rada voted for the law on judicial reform, according to which the HQCJ should be completely relaunched. The latter recommended dishonest judges to the Supreme Court and failed to evaluate qualifications of “servants of Themis”.
“The Council of Judges and the High Council of Justice do not comply with the Law which they are called to defend. Also, they show that they do not want this reform and cleaning. However, they only confirm the need for reforming once again by delaying or blocking the process. And these changes are inevitable. If the implementation of amendments, initiated by the President in the judicial system, fails, the High Council of Justice and the Council of Judges will be responsible for this failure”, commented Halyna Chyzhyk, the expert of the Anti-Corruption Action Center.
Judges of the Supreme Court such as Viktor Ostapuk, Andriy Zhuk, and Oleg Tkachuk most actively blocked the issue regarding selection of members to the Commission. It is obvious that they oppose the judicial reform as a whole, because according to the new law the number of judges of the Supreme Court is reduced by half.
List of judges who block the reform
- Andriy Kalarash, judge of the Court of Appeal of Odessa oblast
- Valeriya Chorna, judge of the Appeals Chamber of the HACC
- Viktor Maslov, judge of the HACC
- Viktor Ostapuk, judge of the Supreme Court
- Volodymyr Kravchuk, judge of the Supreme Court
- Andriy Zhuk, judge of the Supreme Court
- Denys Masenko, judge of the Court of Appeal of Kyiv
- Dmytro Movchan, judge of Leninskyi District Court of Dnipropetrovsk
- Ivan Kolisnyk, judge of the Economic Court of Dnipropetrovsk oblast
- Oksana Marchenko, judge of the Economic Court of Kyiv
- Oleg Tkachuk, judge of the Supreme Court
- Olena Zhuravska, judge of Desnyanskyi District Court of Kyiv
- Sergiy Yeremeychuk, judge of the Court of Appeal of Rivne oblast
- Oleksiy Kotenov, judge of Kharkiv District Administrative Court
Some members of the Council of Judges said that their decision to delegate members to the Competition Commission was somehow related to the announcement of competition. However, the law has only general deadline, which is February 7, 2020. This is the date when the new HQCJ should start its work.
In addition, the High Council of Justice, work of which resulted in the Failure Register, also sabotages the reform, as a result of which its members could be cleaned. It was the HCJ who left judges of Maidan at their offices; persecuted independent judges; brought 44 dishonest persons to the Supreme Court; covered judges for their lies in declarations and illicit assets; covered influential judges or children of influential parents in mantles; did not meet requirements of integrity itself. Yesterday, it postponed the consideration of the draft Regulation on the competition for members to the HQCJ.
The public has already addressed the HCJ with the warning against deliberate blocking the process of creation of the Ethics and Competition Commissions.
We should recall that the Law “On Judicial Reform” proposes to completely relaunch the HQCJ and create the Ethics Commission. The latter will be able to initiate the issue on dismissal of dishonest members of the High Council of Justice, the HQCJ, and judges of the Supreme Court.