Zelensky signs law on judicial reform

The authorities of the HQCJ stop as the law comes into force
19:01, 4 November 2019

President's press service

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky signed the law 193-IX, which provides the judicial reform as the card of the bill states.

The law provides the downsizing of the Supreme Court from 200 up to 100 people and reduction of base salary from 75 up to 55 subsistence minimum for able-bodied persons.

The High Qualification Commission of Judges (HQCJ) is also downsized from 16 up to 12 members. The remuneration for HQCJ is established at the level of the base salary of the judge of Supreme specialized court.

The HQCJ will be the state collegiate body of judicial self-administration.

Currently, 8 members of the HQCJ are appointed by the congress of judges, 2 by the congress of the representatives of the law universities, 2 by the congress of the lawyer, 2 by the ombudsman, 2 by the head of the State Judicial Administration of Ukraine. The law introduces the competition, which will be held by the Supreme Justice Council instead of this system.

Related: Stoltenberg: I expect Verkhovna Rada to introduce a law on national security and reform of Ukraine's Security Service

The regulation on the competition will be approved by the Supreme Justice Council. The competition commission will also be created by the council; three people from the Council of Judges and three international experts will enter it.  

The commission will make decision by four votes; three of them should be of the international experts. The activity of the commission should also be financed at the expense of the international technical aid.

Currently, the HQCJ member might be dismissed by the commission itself or the member, which delegated the candidate. According to the bill, the Supreme Justice Council will be able to dismiss the member by the majority of the votes.

The document provides the establishment of new body – the Commission on Integrity and Ethic. The collegial body at the Supreme Justice Council; it consists of three representatives of the council and three international experts (the participation of the last terminated in six years as the law comes into force).

Related: Strasbourg hosts international conference on reform of judicial system in Ukraine

The main tasks of the commission are the estimation of the candidate in compliance with the principles of integrity and ethic norms of the judge during the special check; approval of the conclusions on the discrepancy (the candidate is not appointed in such case); monitoring of the information about the judges of the Supreme Court to expose the disciplinary offences; provision of the  submission on the dismissal of the member of the HQCJ and council.

The remuneration of the member of the Supreme Justice Council is established in the sum of the wage of the judge of the Supreme Court.

Almost all norms of the law will come into force the next day after the official publication and the abolishment of the norms on the remuneration for successfully passed qualification assessment since the beginning of 2020.

The authorities of the HQCJ stop as the law comes into force.

The Supreme Justice Council should form new composition of the HQCJ during 90 days as well as confirm the personal composition of the Commission on Integrity and Ethic.

Related: Ambassadors of number of states express concern about Zelensky’s judicial reform

The Commission on Integrity and Ethic should check the members of the Supreme Justice Council within 30 days (except the head of the council).

As it was reported, on September 11, a number of provisions of the bill №1008 proposed by Volodymyr Zelensky were severely criticized by Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to Ukraine Annika Weidemann and Canadian Ambassador Roman Vashchuk. Diplomats noted that the reduction of the number of judges of the Supreme Court is groundless, and the extension of lustration to members of the High qualification commission of judges of Ukraine is generally meaningless and ineffective. According to the ambassadors, the bill №1032 "On Amendments to Some Laws of Ukraine on Priority Measures for the Reform of the Prosecution Bodies" also needs serious revision.   

On October 16, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the presidential bill #1008 on the activity of the bodies of the judicial self-administration.


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