Two current MPs from the “Servant of the People” are candidates for the Constitutional Court. This violates the Constitution

Читати українською.

The Parliament announced candidates for the post of judge of the Constitutional Court (CCU) under its quota.

It seems that the authorities are in no hurry to stop the practice of political bias of judges, which is the main source of problems in the Constitutional Court: the list includes two MPs from "Servant of the People", Oleksandr Kopylenko, deputy head of the Committee on Foreign Policy, and Pavlo Pavlish, deputy head of the Legal Committee. This violates the requirement of the Constitution for the political independence of judges of the Constitutional Court, which is laid down in Article 148.

Of note is MP Pavlish's involvement in proposing several contentious draft laws. In March of this year, he advocated for limiting access to the court register (No. 7033-д) and withholding the recording of court hearings (No. 8359). His latest draft law, No. 9643-1, introduces new mechanisms for control and political influence over the Supreme Court, as analysed here.

This politicisation of the CCU is not an isolated incident. Last year, despite constitutional and Venice Commission objections, the Verkhovna Rada appointed its "Servant of the People" MP, Olga Sovhyria, as a Constitutional Court judge. At that time, she was a member of the same Legal Committee.

Obviously, the authorities have recognised the success of this approach and persist in its implementation. The associated risks of further politicising the Constitutional Court are considerable—ranging from approving elections during times of war to potentially overturning crucial European integration reforms, as witnessed in 2020.

A notable difference in the current scenario is the involvement of the Advisory Group of Experts, which includes international experts, in the preliminary selection of candidates. The risks associated with its formation are outlined here. Thus, there will be an opportunity to check how effective the mechanism is.

There are also decent candidates on the list. We hope that a person who meets the criteria of political independence, integrity and high professional skills will be appointed to the CCU.