On 11 June, the Constitutional Court (CC) ruled that Article 375 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine is unconstitutional. This Article imposed criminal liability on judges for adoption of deliberately illegal sentences, decision, approval or regulation.
The CC motivated its decision by providing a reasonable argument that the formulation “deliberately illegal decision” does not meet the criteria of legal certainty as a component of the principle of the rule of law.
“However, such a decision can lead to the closure of the dozens of cases against judges, who violated the right of people for a fair trial, in particular Maidan judges. The CC, when hearing this case, should consider not only hypothetical but also practical consequences of its decision.”
Mykhailo Zhernakov, Chair of Board of the DEJURE Foundation.
The CC also ruled to postpone the cancellation of this Article and bound the Verkhovna Rada to bring it in line with the Constitution.
Now the Parliament is obliged to adopt the changes into the Article to bring it in line with the Constitution and at the same time to keep the judges, who are currently under trial by this Article, liable.
“The Parliament has all legal leverages to adopt the necessary decision. However, there are many MPs who aim at disrupting any achievements of the Revolution of Dignity. These exact MPs initiated the constitutional proceeding of this case and presumably they will make an attempt to disrupt the voting for the new edition of the Article. Full responsibility for the possibility of Maidan judges to avoid justice is now on the Parliament and “Sluha Narodu” faction, which has the majority in it.”
Stepan Berko, Advocacy manager of DEJURE Foundation.
We want to remind that the majority of judges, accused of adopting illegal decisions, are still working in Ukrainian courts. The HCJ was supposed to dismiss them, however, it decided the opposite and kept them in their offices.