Today, on February 3, the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Policy almost unanimously supported the decision to recommend to the Verkhovna Rada five candidates for the position of a judge of the CCU. This happened without competition, contrary to requirements of the Constitution and recommendations of the Venice Commission, which stressed the need to reform the procedure for selecting judges.
MPs will select a judge according to the parliamentary quota from the following candidates. Namely: Olga Bondar-Petrovska from Batkivshchyna, Dmytro Zhuravlyov from Dovira, Yuriy Pavlenko (current MP from Opposition Platform For Life), Olga Sovgyra (current MP from Servant of the People) ), Mykola Siryi from the European Solidarity.
Halyna Chyzhyk, expert of the AntAC on the judicial reform and lawyer, emphasizes that candidates were not even examined for compliance with constitutional requirements. For instance, candidate from Opposition Platform For Life Pavlenko received the law degree only in 2014, although, according to the Constitution, judge of the CCU can be citizen of Ukraine who has at least fifteen years of professional experience in the field of law. Meanwhile, candidates from Batkivshchyna and Dovira spoke Ukrainian with great difficulties, and proficiency in state language was also one of requirements set out in the Basic Law. However, the main violation was the lack of competition.
“The Constitution provides for the competition. Of course, there was no competition. And all this spectacle in the Committee was held only for the reason to appoint Olga Sovgyra, the candidate from the “Servant of the People”, to the CCU as soon as possible. Demchenko, her colleague from the faction, drew attention to interesting detail. Namely: she started collecting documents for the position of judge of the CCU even before the Verkhovna Rada had announced about the competition. That’s interesting coincidence”, comments expert of the AntAC on the judicial reform and lawyer Galyna Chyzhyk.
We should recall that on December 11, 2020, the Venice Commission approved its Opinion on the reform of the Constitutional Court, in which it had emphasized the need to change the procedure for selecting judges and establishment of an independent body to evaluate candidates, which will include international human rights experts and civil society representatives. Prior to such changes, the Venice Commission did not recommend the Parliament and the Congress of Judges to fill their quotas in the CCU.
The constitutional crisis arose on October 27, 2020, when the CCU adopted decision on main provisions of the anti-corruption reform of Ukraine, which cancelled the number of provisions of the anti-corruption legislation without any justification in motivational part. The CCU went beyond the constitutional submission and in fact violated the Constitution of Ukraine when it adopted this decision.