Because of one judge, the qualification assessment of two thousand judges is at risk. Will the new HQCJ bend under him?

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Today, the High Qualification Commission of Judges will determine the schedule for reviewing the qualification assessment results of Judge Vilchynskyi. Let's revisit the notable aspects of this controversial judge's history:

In 2019, the Public Integrity Council recognised Vilchynsky as judge of low integrity. This was primarily due to his associations with judges from the DACK, failure to disclose his property holdings, and political ties that could have influenced his appointment as the head of the Vinnytsia District Administrative Court. Vilchynskyi appealed the opinion of the Public Integrity Council, and the Zhytomyr District Administrative Court subsequently overturned the Public Integrity Council's opinion. However, such opinions are not subject to appeal.

During the qualification assessment, he had an obvious conflict of interest with Mr Butenko, the head of the HQCJ panel. A month prior, he and several other Commission members attended a birthday celebration for Judge Ablov from the DACK.

Among Vilchynskyi's recent rulings, one stands out: his decision to shield acting Vinnytsia Medical University Rector Victoria Petrushenko from allegations of plagiarism. This ruling essentially prohibited the National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance from making a decision about the presence of plagiarism in her works.

The most concerning development is that Vilchynskyi, with the assistance of the Administrative Court of Cassation within the Supreme Court, managed to secure a ruling that he had passed the qualification assessment, even though the plenary composition of the HQCJ had not reviewed the panel's decision. This sets a dangerous precedent, allowing judges to manipulate their assessments through the courts, setting a troubling example.

It's clear that today, the new HQCJ will not resolve the matter on its own but will only schedule it for consideration. Nevertheless, this issue demands our attention, and we will continue to monitor its progress closely.