Behind closed doors: the HCJ will completely close the interviews with candidates for the HQCJ, violating the law

Читати українською.

On Friday, April 7, the High Council of Justice announced in an official release that interviews with candidates for the High Qualification Commission of Judges will not only take place without live broadcast but also "without the participation of representatives of the public and mass media". However, the law clearly establishes that interviews with candidates for the HQCJ should be held openly.

In addition, on April 6, the G7 Ambassadors called on the HCJ to be transparent when appointing members of the HQCJ. In addition, several dozen public organisations also addressed the HCJ with a public statement about the need to broadcast the interviews.

According to our information, the decision to conduct interviews behind closed doors was not made collectively and was not discussed by all members. While we are waiting for the official position of the body, we would like to remind the HCJ of the following:

  • The appointment of the absolute majority of them took place transparently and publicly. Journalists were present at the Congress of Judges when the quota of judges was appointed there. Voting in the Verkhovna Rada was open when members of the HCJ were elected there under the Parliament's quota.
  • The openness of the process of formation of the new HQCJ is a component of trust both in the HCJ itself and in the High Qualification Commission of Judges, which faces the important task of selecting judges for more than two thousand vacancies, as well as completing the qualification assessment.
  • Judicial reform is the #1 requirement of the European Commission for the continuation of our European integration. In a little more than a month, in mid-May, the EU will provide an interim report on Ukraine's readiness to begin accession. Therefore, the attention of our Western partners is focused on the process of renewal of judicial governance bodies.

We call on the HCJ to make changes to the methodology for selecting members of the HQCJ. The decision to broadcast the interviews would be an important step towards restoring public trust and a signal that the new High Council of Justice is not following the path of its predecessors.