What's wrong with Ukraine's bill on Anti-Corruption Court?

Author : Mustafa Nayyem

Source :

Amendments to the bill on the Anti-Corruption Court would be numerous, and the confrontation from the committees would be transferred to the session hall
09:10, 2 March 2018

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I would be happy to write about "victory", but it is just a procedural solution at the moment. We have adopted an absolutely unacceptable draft, at least five points of which do not meet the requirements and criteria of the Venice Commission, the IMF, and the World Bank.

Related: Ukrainian parliament takes draft law on Anti-corruption court as basis

The fact is that the president has proposed a cynical choice to the parliament - either to accept the document in the first reading or later to try to improve it, or to fail and let the president avoid responsibility for a bad bill. No alternative bill could become a basis for the creation of the Anti-Corruption Court, since the Constitution explicitly states that new courts in Ukraine are created only by the law, the draft of which is made by the President of Ukraine (Article 125). If the parliament decided to take some other document, this could become the basis for the liquidation of the Supreme Anti-Corruption Court.

Related: Transparency International: Ukraine’s corruption rating rose higher than Russia’s

So the main battle is ahead: we have two weeks to amend the presidential bill. I suppose that there will be a lot of amendments, and the opposition from the committees will be transferred to the hall.

As far as I understand, the president's team is ready to make any concessions, except for the main thing - the role of the Public Council of International Experts, which should take part in the preliminary selection of Supreme Anti-Corruption Court judges-candidates.

According to the draft, the Public Council of International Experts will be formed to select judges of the Anti-Corruption Court. It will include candidates proposed by the international organizations, Ukraine’s partners in the field of preventing and combating corruption. The composition of this Council will be determined by the Supreme Qualification Commission of Judges.

Related: Is corruption in Ukrainians blood?

The Council of International Experts will make its decision on each candidate for the judges of the Anti-Corruption Court. But if the Council decides that the candidate for the position of the judge does not meet the criteria, it does not matter. This decision could be reversed by the decision of the Higher Qualification Commission of Judges, for which 11 out of 16 of its members would vote.

Related: IMF insists on Anti-Corruption Court, market prices on gas in Ukraine

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