The refusal of the Council of Judges of Ukraine to delegate Ukrainian judges to the Ethics Council, which is to check the integrity of the members of the High Council of Justice, threatens to derail the promise of real judicial reform in Ukraine, the US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price stated on September 16.
“There is still time to save this effort. The Council of Judges can fulfill its obligation to implement the law and put forward nominations. We remain firmly committed to assisting in this critical reform so that the people of Ukraine may trust their courts and judges and so that Ukraine can continue on its path toward Euro-Atlantic integration. Judicial reform will bring more jobs and economic opportunities, as well as fairness and justice. The Ukrainian people deserve no less.”
the official statement of the US Department of State.
“Judicial reform and its effective implementation have been a priority №1 in a joint statement by the Ukrainian President Zelensky and the US President Biden. It is difficult to imagine the higher level of commitments made by the Ukrainian side to implement reforms. However, a few weeks after the Presidents' meeting, the entire civilized world is watching judicial reform fail. If the reform fails completely, no Ukrainian will see any membership in NATO and the EU in his lifetime.”
says Mykhailo Zhernakov, Chair of the Board of the DEJURE Foundation
On September 16, the Office of the President hosted a meeting on the implementation of judicial reform, attended by MPs, G7 Ambassadors and the Head of the Council of Judges Bohdan Monich, who is responsible for blocking judicial reform by not launching the Ethics Council to check HCJ members for integrity.
The MPs and the Office of the President expressed the expectation that the Council of Judges should nominate its delegates to the Ethics Council by October 1. Bohdan Monich assured that "the Council of Judges of Ukraine is set to implement this law, and will do it". Along with the promises, Monich reminded that the Council of Judges wants to change the law on the HCJ reform. The Office of the President stressed that such proposals will be considered as usual, as in the case with all other laws.
Following the meeting, the G7 Ambassadors issued a statement saying that "Ambassadors heard from all parties, including the unanimous commitment to delivering HCJ reform".
Today, the Plenum of the Supreme Court postponed until October 8 the consideration of the appeal to the Constitutional Court on the constitutionality of the provisions of the law regarding the reform of the High Council of Justice "due to improper preparation of the issue for consideration". Yesterday, the President of the Supreme Court Valentyna Danishevska also visited Bankova but together with Bohdan Monich refused to sign a joint statement of the participants of the meeting on the implementation of judicial reform in Ukraine.