Today, the texts of the draft laws introduced by President Zelensky on the liquidation of the scandalous District Administrative Court of Kyiv (DACK) №5369 and №5370 were published. The President's initiatives must be supported. After the District Administrative Court of Kyiv ceases to make decisions, a special procedure of the selection of judges for the new administrative court should be introduced.
What are the advantages of the introduced draft laws?
The draft laws formally meet the desired goal and stop powers of unjust judgments in the District Administrative Court of Kyiv. According to the text of the draft law, the District Administrative Court of Kyiv is being liquidated and replaced by the Kyiv City District Administrative Court (KCDAC).
At the same time, the District Administrative Court of Kyiv suspends the administration of justice from the date of entry into force of the law and immediately transfers its cases to the Kyiv District Administrative Court (KDAC). This is a positive rule, as Pavlo Vovk&co will instantly lose the authority to hear any lawsuits.
What are the main risks of the draft laws?
The texts of the draft laws do not in any way determine the fate of the current judges of the District Administrative Court of Kyiv. This means that according to the usual procedure, all of them will be able to transfer to the newly created Kyiv City District Administrative Court without any competition and integrity checks.
Also, the draft laws do not solve the problem of exclusive jurisdiction of the District Administrative Court of Kyiv. The draft laws do not mention the transfer of the exclusive powers of the DACK to the Supreme Court or any other court, as provided for in the Memorandum with the IMF. Thus, the newly created court, and before it, the Kyiv City District Administrative Court, may retain the power to hear disputes with central authorities.
“These risks create an opportunity for Pavlo Vovk and his colleagues of low integrity to maintain their existing influence on the judiciary. Judges of the DACK will simply be able to transfer to a court with a different name without competition, but with the same authority, and continue to exercise lawlessness.
We welcome the President's initiative, but urge the MPs to level the risks of the draft laws submitted in preparation for the first reading.”
says Stepan Berko, Advocacy Manager at the DEJURE Foundation
The successful implementation of the draft law provisions largely depends on the quality of work of the High Qualifications Commission of Judges. At the same time, the draft law №3711-д, which should have created it, in case of its adoption is not able to form a truly independent High Qualifications Commission of Judges.
In February, President Zelensky introduced the draft law №5067, which should limit the exclusive jurisdiction of the scandalous District Administrative Court of Kyiv. However, the draft law introduced by the President does not really solve the problems around the court.