Ukraine ranked fourth in the Eastern Partnership Index in terms of judicial independence. A total of six countries were evaluated - Armenia, Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus and Azerbaijan.
What is the Eastern Partnership Index?
It is a tool that measures the progress made by the Eastern Partnership countries towards sustainable democratic development and European integration. It is sometimes called the "European Integration Index".
Experts of the DEJURE Foundation joined the development of the 2020-2021 Index.
The compilers of the Index single out, in particular, the following problems of the Ukrainian judicial system:
The first is the High Council of Justice.
The Index states that it is "biased" and uses double standards when dealing with disciplinary proceedings against disloyal judges. This is despite the fact that Ukrainian law sets out the criteria by which judges can be disciplined.
The Index also mentions the Kyiv District Administrative Court, whose judges violate the criteria of transparency and accountability while the HCJ covers them.
The second problem of the Ukrainian justice system is judges of low integrity.
Although the law provides for the appointment of judges of high integrity, these requirements are often ignored in practice, and "loyal" judges are appointed.
The third is that in Ukraine, court decisions are often not independent or objective, and judges are often subject to political influence.
The compilers of the Eastern Partnership Index have singled out some tips for civil society, the state and the European Union on overcoming the above problems of the judiciary.
They recommend that civil society continues to monitor the activities of the HCJ, cover the appointment, dismissal and promotion of judges.
The state, as the transparency of the judiciary is insufficient and it is affected, to carry out reforms with the involvement of the EU and national NGOs, taking into account the recommendations of the Venice Commission and the Council of Europe.
The European Union - to take into account the importance of reforms in the areas analyzed by the Eastern Partnership Index, as well as to pay due attention to the development of mechanisms for implementing measures to help citizens gain access to justice
The Eastern Partnership Index can be found here.