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High Council of Justice jeopardized the formation of the High Qualifications Commission of Judges of Ukraine
On December 10, the High Council of Justice (HJC) approved the Regulation on holding a competitive selection for the position of a member of the High Qualifications Commission of Judges of Ukraine (Regulations), and already on December 12 it announced a corresponding competition.
2. CPLR assessment
In political points for December 2-9, 2019, the CPLR experts expressed critical comments on the published draft Regulation and called on the HCJ to re-develop the competitive selection procedure. However, in the approved version of the Regulations, the HCJ further exerted its own influence on the results of the competition to the High Qualifications Commission of Judges of Ukraine (HQCJ), by neglecting the role of international experts. This may indicate the HCJ’s intention to manipulate the results of the competition.
The CPLR experts analyzed the approved Regulation and identified its three key shortcomings:
1) inconsistency with the Law on Judicial System and Status of Judges;
2) creation of external opportunities for manipulation with the results of the competition;
3) nullification of the role of international experts in the selection of the HQCJ members.
Inconsistency of the Regulation with the Law on Judicial System in the future may lead to a judicial contestation of the competition results. In addition, in the long run, legal defects in the competitive procedure affect both the independence of each HQCJ member (due to the illegality of election, his/her powers may be terminated ahead of schedule) and the legality of the procedures conducted by the commission (qualification assessment, selection of judges, etc.).
In this case, international and foreign organizations are not likely to be interested in delegating their representatives to the selection commission.
In this regard, it is necessary to legally deprive the HCJ of the opportunity to influence the regulation of the competitive procedure for the selection of the HQCJ members. The procedure for conducting the competitive selection may be determined by the selection commission itself.