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Ukrainian Parliament adopts Law on Supreme Anti-Corruption Court

The presidential bill got 315 votes of the Ukrainian MPs
13:38, 7 June 2018

Open source

The Supreme Anti-Corruption Court shall consider cases against top corrupted persons, who fall under the jurisdiction of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), and the cases against the representatives of the NABU, who fall under investigation of State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).

This refers to the crimes on inappropriate use of budget funds, abuse of power or influence, illegal enrichment, bribery. Apart from that, the jurisdiction of the court shall cover crimes that caused damage in the sum of at least 500 times higher than the subsistence minimum for able-bodied persons (from January 1, this is around USD 31 thousand).

This is the basic condition. And it does not matter who considered the case - the National Police, Prosecutor General's Office or NABU. Some of the articles describe violations related to drugs or weapons, but there are no articles regarding electronic declaration.

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The Supreme Anti-Corruption Court shall also consider the cases on abuse of authority – embezzlement, stealing or extortion of weapons or ammunition supplies, narcotic drugs, precursors, equipment for drug manufacturing, fraudulent taking possession over documents, stamps or seals.

The law stipulates for creation the Anti-Corruption Court itself and Appeals Chamber of the Supreme Anti-Corruption Court. The launch of the institution will be possible after at least 35 judges appointed and at least 10 of them appointed to the Appeals Chamber.

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The document also provides for the requirements to the Anti-Corruption Court, as well as the circumstances under which a person has no right to hold a post of a judge.

Thus, a candidate shall have a least a five-year experience on the position of a judge or at least a 7-year experience on the position of an attorney, or a 7-year experience in scientific activity in the sphere of law. There is also an option of an aggregated term of employment as a judge, scientist in the sphere of law during at least 7 years.

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The judge shall comply with the requirements under the Law on Judicial Administration and Status of Judge, shall have knowledge and skills to be able to provide justicement in corruption cases.

Former law enforcement officers, officers of NABU, National Agency for Preventing Corruption, Anti-Monopoly Committee, Audit Office, Fiscal Service, The State Financial Monitoring Service of Ukraine, High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine, High Council of Justice, etc.

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The judges shall fall under repeated checked as for violation of law.

Not only judges but also their relatives and close ones (persons who share living with them, their spouses, parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, spouse’s parents, grandchildren, adopted children and foster parents) shall have 24/7 protection. Judge’s place of residence shall be equipped with alarm systems and panic alarm buttons.

In the first reading, the draft law provided for the checks with the use of a lie detector, however, this item was excluded in the second reading.

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The High Judicial Qualifications Commission shall elect the judges with the help of the Public Council of International Experts. This will be a new body of six people. It may consist of foreigners and the Ukrainians “with impeccable reputation, high professional and moral qualities” and a 5-year experience in executing procedural management, the performance of public prosecution in court or performing legal proceedings in corruption cases abroad.

In the first reading it was stipulated that the international experts shall work on Free Of Charge basis, however, in the final version, adopted in the second reading, the wage of the expert shall equal 75 minimum living wages for able-bodied persons (USD 4720  in 2018). Those not residing in Ukraine shall get compensation of accommodation and moving expenses.

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The draft law shall take effect the next day after the official publication, some norms shall take effect since the launch of the Supreme Anti-Corruption Court. At that, the project binds the President of Ukraine to introduce a draft law on the creation of Anti-Corruption Court to the Parliament of Ukraine.

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