Weekly analytics for 25 – 31 January 2022
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G7 ambassadors announce priorities of activities in Ukraine for 2022
On January 31, a G7 Ambassadors’ Support Group (G7) published the priorities of its own activities for support of Ukrainian reforms in 2022, which are divided into three areas – “Just and Resilient Institutions”, “Prosperous Economy”, “Secure Country”. According to the document, the G7 Ambassadors Group will continue to “advocate an inclusive approach to reform, incorporating government, parliament, civil society, business and expert viewpoints”.
Among the priorities for supporting Ukraine in the judicial reform area, the G7 ambassadors included the following:
- enhanced efforts to reform the judiciary and prevent and combat corruption within the judicial system;
- proper implementation of the reforms of the High Council of Justice and effective and unhindered work of the Ethics Council;
- enabling the Selection Commission for the High Qualification Commission for Judges to work effectively, and reloading of qualification commission that enjoys wide public trust;
- conducting comprehensive reform of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, including a new, transparent and competitive selection procedure for its judges;
- reform of Kyiv Administrative District Court;
- continued reform of the Office of the Prosecutor-General and the State Bureau of Investigation.
Among the priorities in the field of fight against corruption, the G7 ambassadors were identified the adoption and implementation of an anti-corruption strategy, supporting the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption, and increasing the effectiveness, independence, and integrity of anti-corruption institutions (NABU, SAPO and ARMA), in particular by ensuring timely, transparent and merit-based selection procedures for their leadership. They also emphasized the need to enhance the independence and operational effectiveness of the High Anti-Corruption Court.
The document also stressed continued commitment to decentralization and to strong local self-government, as well as the need to implement and further revise the Electoral Code and to improve legislation on the parliamentary rules and procedures and the financing of political parties;
The G7 ambassadors’ vision on the priority areas of reform in Ukraine coincides with various policy documents and public promises made by the Ukrainian authorities. CPLR experts support these priorities. Many of them are currently being implemented, including re-launching the High Qualification Commission of Judges and the High Council of Justice to strengthen the integrity, independence, professionalism and accountability of the justice system.
At the same time, the implementation of certain priorities is being significantly slowed down by the Ukrainian authorities. These include the introduction of transparent competitive selection for the Constitutional Court judges (the relevant amendments were withdrawn by the specialized parliamentary committee), the reform of the Kyiv Administrative District Court (the draft law was submitted to the Verkhovna Rada in April 2021 but never considered, despite being identified as urgent by the President), the adoption of the anti-corruption strategy (the relevant draft law has been under the Parliament’s consideration since September 2020, despite also being identified as urgent), etc.
Increased attention to the Ukrainian reforms by partner states and their proper support will contribute to the achievement of positive results for the Ukrainian state and society and reduce the risks of reforms being imitated.