The President delays the appointment of a member of the HCJ under his quota

Читати українською.

In April, the commission responsible for recommending candidates for the High Council of Justice (HCJ) sent a list of potential appointees for vacant positions to the President. However, it is now September, and there is still no update. What could this delay signify?

Maybe the suggested candidates are not enough… politicised, and the President’s Office wants to wait for the new recommended ones? After all, in a month (October 3, 2023), the term of another HCJ member appointed under the President's quota, Oksana Blazhivska, will expire, leading to the consideration of new candidates for her position.

A somewhat similar scenario unfolded in 2020 when the previous High Council of Justice was being formed. The President was required to appoint two HCJ members under his quota. Initially, he appointed only one, Oksana Blazhivska. Subsequently, for reasons that were not clear, he did not proceed to appoint a second member but instead dissolved the commission, announcing a new competition for a single position. Eventually, President Zelensky appointed Tetyana Rozvalyaeva, a former judge from the politically charged Yanukovych's fifth chamber of the High Administrative Court. Notably, Rozvalyaeva had previously endorsed the legality of Yanukovych's "Kharkiv Agreements," which extended the Russian Federation's Black Sea Fleet's presence in Crimea for 25 years.

At a time when the High Council of Justice is overloaded with thousands of complaints and the EU is waiting for us to launch the HCJ with a full composition, such a delay seems unacceptable. In October, the European Commission will provide a new assessment of Ukraine's implementation of European integration recommendations.