The Verkhovna Rada appointed Olha Sovhyria as a judge of the Constitutional Court in disregard of the Constitution. During the selection, compliance with the requirements of the law was not even checked. For example, another participant in the "competition", Yuriy Pavlenko, nominated by the “OPZZh”, did not meet the constitutional requirement of 15 years of legal experience.
What does it threaten?
Such an appointment contradicts Ukraine's agreements with the EU:
"The first priority out of seven in the decision of the European Commission on our candidacy is to "implement the legislation regarding the procedure for selecting judges of the Constitutional Court... based on the assessment of their integrity and professional skills, in accordance with the recommendations of the Venice Commission".
- says Mykhailo Zhernakov, Chair of the Board of the DEJURE Foundation.
The opinion of the Venice Commission, which was issued back in 2020 at the request of President Zelensky after the constitutional crisis, states that the appointment of judges should take place only after the introduction of the competitive selection procedure. Such a procedure should stop the practice of political dependence of judges, which is the main source of problems of the CCU. The Commission twice re-emphasized the need to introduce a competitive procedure, but already four judges of the Constitutional Court were appointed contrary to this recommendation: Viktor Kychun, Oksana Hryschuk, Oleksandr Petryshyn and Olha Sovhyria. If the first two have already acquired powers, Petryshyn will be sworn in in September, when the term of office of his predecessor Oleksandr Kasminin expires.
What is known about Olha Sovhyria?
Since 2005, Sovhyria has worked as an assistant, and since 2008, as an associate professor at the Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law. Since 2010, she has held the position of assistant professor at the Department of Constitutional Law of the Faculty of Law of Taras Shevchenko National University. As a scientist, she opposed the integration of Ukrainian science into the world (criticised the requirement of publications in Scopus and Web of Science).
In 2019, she was elected as an MP of the 9th convocation from the "Sluha Narodu" party, number 122 on the list, as a non-partisan. Sovhyria is a member of the “Sluha Narodu” faction. She is also Deputy head of the Parliamentary Legal Committee and Head of the subcommittee on political reform and constitutional law. The same year, she was appointed a permanent representative of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in the Constitutional Court.