Two months after the deadline foreseen by the law, the Ethics Council of the HCJ was finally formed. In the evening of November 8, the High Council of Justice refused to appoint members of the Ethics Council, so today the composition of the body is formed automatically by the law.
President Zelensky welcomed the final unblocking of judicial reform and expressed hope that the Ethics Council would start working as soon as possible.
The Ethics Council consists of six experts:
From international organizations:
- Robert J. Cordy - a justice on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court;
- Sir Anthony Hooper - a retired appeals court judge, worked in the Court of Appeal Criminal and Civil Divisions of England and Wales;
- Lavly Perling - Former Prosecutor General of the Republic of Estonia.
From the Council of Judges:
- Lev Kyshakevych, judge of the Criminal Court of Cassation within the Supreme Court;
- Yuriy Tryasun, judge of the Kyiv Court of Appeal;
- Volodymyr Siverin, a retired judge of the Eastern Commercial Court of Appeal.
“Finally, a key body, which is capable of cleansing the HCJ, was formed. Despite the fact that the judges have delegated members whose integrity is doubted, the Ethics Council will be able to fulfil its task, since the international experts are granted the casting vote. Therefore, over the next few months, the HCJ members will face a very thorough and effective inspection”
- said Mykhailo Zhernakov, Chair of the Board of DEJURE Foundation.
The integrity of two of the candidates delegated by the Council of Candidates, Volodymyr Severin and Yuriy Tryasun, is doubted.
Judge Tryasun was a member of the panel of judges that released a Berkut officer suspected of killing three Maidan protesters. After his release from custody, the Berkut officer disappeared and is now wanted.
Judge Siverin allegedly put pressure on the judges. Over the past few years, his three children have received 10 apartments and non-residential premises without any justification for such purchases. Also, judge Siverin changed the date of his birth through the court to stay a judge longer.
Despite the provisions of the HCJ law, by which the Council of Judges was given time until September 13 to delegate its candidates to the Ethics Council, the Council of Judges deliberately delayed this process for more than a month.
The Council of Judges delegated its candidates to the Ethics Council on October 23. The High Council of Justice received an official letter from the Council of Judges with candidates for the Ethics Council on November 2. According to the law on the HCJ reform, the deadline for the appointment of the Ethics Council expired on Monday, November 8.