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Weekly analytics for 17 – 23 May 2022

06.06.2022

Political Points of the Centre of Policy and Legal Reform include a weekly expert analysis of the most important process in Ukraine in areas of constitutionalism, political parties and elections, governance and public administration reform, judiciary, combating corruption, criminal justice, etc.

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Procedures for Filling the Vacant Positions on the High Council of Justice Were Activated


Event

On May 19, an announcement on conducting the XIX Extraordinary Congress of Judges on July 11-13 was published. The Congress is supposed to elect eight members to the High Council of Justice (HCJ) and two judges to the Constitutional Court. In addition, the Ethics Council issued a decision the following day on conducting interviews with candidates for the HCJ via videoconference. The interview dates have not been set yet, however.

CPLR Assessment

The Council of Judges’ announcement on convening the Congress of Judges in July of this year, as well as the resumption of work by the Ethics Council give rise to an expectation that the HCJ’s full competency will be restored in the coming months. At present, there are only four members on the Council (two selected from the judges’ quota, one appointed from the President’s quota, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court ex officio). An anticipated filling of eight additional HCJ vacancies by the Congress of Judges, coupled with the potential opportunity to have three additional members elected by the Parliament and the Congress of Scholars (the competitions are currently ongoing, and the Ethics Council began interviewing applicants even before the start of the war), will enable a 15-member composition of the HCJ. Having this number of members will empower the Council to make the majority of decisions included within its authority.

At the same time, there is legislative uncertainty related to the fact that, by law, the HCJ is deemed competent under the condition of having at least fifteen members elected (appointed). Assuming the events happen as described above, there will be only fourteen members on the HCJ who are elected or appointed, since the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is included as an ex officio member. Because of this, in order to avoid any doubts regarding legitimacy of the Council, the President, the Council of Prosecutors, and the Council of Advocates need to announce competitions for the HCJ vacancies under their respective quotas as soon as possible.