Today, the Parliament did not support the Presidential bill №3711 and sent it to the Legal Committee to include the proposals of the Venice Commission.
As a reminder, this bill proposed to strengthen the powers of the High Council of Justice and, in fact, to transfer control over the selection of judges to Pavel Vovk.
President Zelensky's previous attempt to breathe new life into judicial reform, which started in 2016 was successfully blocked by the High Council of Justice (HCJ) and almost finally buried by the Constitutional Court. Therefore, on June 22, Zelensky introduced the bill №3711 to the Parliament.
The bill abandons the idea of cleansing the HCJ of its dishonest members and preserving, somewhere even increasing, its influence over the judiciary. This completely contradicts the provisions of the Memorandum of Ukraine with the International Monetary Fund and the public promises of the President.
Bill №3711 was previously criticized by the Venice Commission. Despite the criticism of the bill and calls of the public, yesterday the Legal Committee recommended the Parliament to adopt it in the first reading. However, the intentions of the MP regarding this bill changed during the session – only 29 MPs supported the bill. Finally, the bill was sent for revision to the profile committee.
"In its current form, the bill does not solve the problems in the judiciary but also worsens them. It envisages giving even more powers to dishonest members of the HCJ and, indirectly, to judges of the District Administrative Court of Kyiv (DACK), who are suspected of seizing the state power.
We welcome the decision of the Parliament, which takes into account the position of the public - the project really needs to be finalized. We hope that the Committee will take into account the proposals of the Venice Commission and will bring to the hall a draft of a truly effective judicial reform, which Ukrainians are waiting for,"
– says Stepan Berko, Advocacy Manager of the DEJURE Foundation