Who is trying to sneak into the Constitutional Court?

Читати українською.

The Council of Judges has published the list of candidates for the Constitutional Court under the quota of the Congress of Judges. There are many candidates on this list whose integrity or professionalism is in reasonable doubt. Here is more information about them.

Oksana Blazhivska, a former HCJ member, secured a judgeship in the Commercial Court of Kyiv from Yanukovych once her father assumed the position of deputy prosecutor general Pshonka. Prior to that, she practised as a lawyer and notary. While working in the HCJ, Ms. Blazhivska deliberately prolonged the hearing of the high-profile case involving judge Babenko, caught driving under the influence, for over a year. Discover more about these and Ms. Blazhivska's other controversial "achievements" here.

Oleksandr Korovayko, the Head of the Kherson Court of Appeal since 2012, has disregarded the law's requirement not to hold the position of Head more than three times consecutively. Numerous inaccuracies in his declarations, such as failing to declare a car or undervaluing a 146-square-meter apartment, have been pointed out by PIC members. In 2017, he violated traffic rules, yet his integrity declaration this year falsely claimed no prosecution. Judge Korovayko has made decisions enabling drunk drivers to evade liability and was called the "pre-approved" candidate for the 2021 Constitutional Court competition.

Ihor Bychkov, a judge of the Kovpakiv District Court of Sumy, has repeatedly assisted drivers in avoiding liability for drunk driving. Since 2015, he has sought official housing for four people, including his wife, daughter, and mother, while only declaring his wife as a family member. Despite a court decision confirming his separation from his wife since 2015, his autobiography this year asserted no relations with family members since 1967. In 2020, the court did grant Bychkov an official apartment for one person (case No. 591/4847/19).

Olena Volkova, a judge of the Yuzhnoukrainsk Court in the Mykolaiv region, faced disciplinary action from the HCJ for violating self-disqualification rules. Additionally, the High Council of Justice recognised Volkova's disrespectful communication with court participants and unethical behaviour. In 2016, Judge Volkova unreasonably refused to detain a person suspected of child molestation (case No. 486/530/16-k). This decision was later overturned on appeal, and the perpetrator was found guilty, casting doubt on the judge's competence.

It appears that a shadow looms over the Constitutional Court, with not only judicial candidates falling short of high standards but also two MPs from the "Servant of the People" party seeking entry under the Parliament's quota, violating the Constitution. Soon, DEJURE Foundation will release a more detailed analysis of those aspiring to join the CCU.

Notably, this time the preliminary selection will be conducted by the Advisory Group of Experts (AGE), featuring international specialists delegated by Western partners.

"The AGE could be even stronger if, under the pressure of our authorities, the Western partners did not back down from their demands for reform. Initially, they publicly stated that the AGE should include 7 members, with 4 being independent international specialists. However, the current AGE model only includes 3 international experts against 3 Ukrainian political appointees. The experience of the Ethics Council, operating on a similar principle, has demonstrated that this model is less effective, preventing the selection of the best candidates because it forces international members to make compromises"

- explains Mykhailo Zhernakov, Chair of the Board of DEJURE Foundation.