President of the Venice Commission: The Ethics Council must be formed immediately

The Council of Judges should nominate its delegates to the Ethics Council, which will reform the HCJ, without further delay, as this is important for the implementation of judicial reform. All judicial governance bodies should refrain from measures, actions, omissions or procedures that may result in delays in the establishment of the Ethics Council, which in turn could cause irreparable damage to the implementation of an independent and efficient judiciary in Ukraine. Without the Ethics Council, there can be no independent and credible High Council of Justice, and, in turn, there can be no credible HQCJ. This was stated by Gianni Buquicchio in his statement, published on September 29.

The President of the Venice Commission welcomed the adoption of the laws on the reform of the HCJ and the reboot of the HQCJ, stressing that judicial reform is important for the country's future and has high expectations among Ukrainian society.

“I am confident that the Ukrainian judges understand that this reform is necessary not only for the reputation and authority of the Ukrainian judiciary but for Ukraine as a whole and for all Ukrainian citizens. I call on them to take responsibility and support the reform. I also call on the competent authorities to take all the necessary steps to allow the Ethics Council to be set up and to carry out its tasks efficiently and swiftly.”

- said Gianni Buquicchio.

"The President of the Venice Commission has made it clear that the formation of the Ethics Council is vital to effective judicial reform. His position can be seen as a factual call to the Council of Judges to unblock the reform. The Venice Commission's support for the HCJ reform is extremely important, as it refutes the arguments of the opponents of the reform that it contradicts European standards.”

- said Stepan Berko, Advocacy Manager of the DEJURE Foundation.

Earlier, despite the deadlines for the delegation of candidates to the Ethics Council until September 13, the Council of Judges on September 21 adopted the Regulation on the selection of candidates for the Ethics Council under the quota of judges and set a month for submission of documents. Thus, according to the experts of the DEJURE Foundation, the Council of Judges is deliberately delaying the establishment of the Ethics Council.

On September 23, the G7 Ambassadors expressed disappointment with the timetable of the Council of Judges' competition to select candidates for the Ethics Council, as the decision of the Council of Judges "does not reflect the importance and urgency of the reform".