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Bohdan Lvov is reinstated as a judge of the Supreme Court

Читати українською.

Today, the Kyiv District Administrative Court (KDAC) judge Alyona Kushnova has ordered the reinstatement of the scandalous Bohdan Lvov as a judge of the Supreme Court. Despite confirmation from journalists and the SBU regarding Lvov's possession of Russian citizenship, this did not impede the decision. Lvov is poised to return to the Supreme Court unless an appeal is lodged.

Unfortunately, this was allowed to happen and accountability squarely rests on the shoulders of the President's Office and Volodymyr Zelensky. Over a year has elapsed since "Schemes" journalists and the SBU verified and presented evidence of Lvov's Russian citizenship. A petition to revoke his citizenship garnered record support, but the Commission on Citizenship under the President remained inert throughout this period. This sets a disconcerting precedent for individuals holding Russian citizenship amidst the tenth year of the war to maintain their positions unencumbered.

  • What’s with the Supreme Court?

Evidently, the Supreme Court has forfeited its legitimacy. Beginning with the corruption scandal involving former President Knyazev, followed by the election of the new President Kravchenko with questionable integrity. Subsequently, judges Stupak and Pohribny, with reservations about their integrity, were appointed to the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court. Today's incident compounds these alarming developments.

  • What should be done with the Supreme Court?

To rebuild trust, a thorough cleansing of the court from potentially low-integrity judges is imperative. Details about the cleansing mechanism can be found here.

  • What about judges with Russian citizenship?

Presently, there is no effective mechanism for scrutinizing candidates and judges for citizenship of other states during the judicial selection process. It is crucial to introduce such a mechanism at the judge selection stage; if reasonable suspicions arise, the candidate should not be appointed. Implementing this earlier would have prevented Bohdan Lvov from becoming a Supreme Court judge.

Given the war prevents Ukraine from obtaining an official response from the aggressor country, alternative verification tools must be developed. Even if less precise, verification is essential; otherwise, judges with Russian citizenship may persist indefinitely.

  • When will Lvov again become a judge of the Commercial Court of Cassation within the Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court has the option (and should exercise it) to appeal against the KDAC's decision.

Following Lvov's reinstatement in the Supreme Court, he must be integrated into the panel of judges to resume judicial duties. The Commercial Court of Cassation within the Supreme Council needs to convene and make a decision for this to happen. Without this step, Lvov will hold the position of a judge but won't participate in the automatic distribution of cases.

Consequently, judges of the Commercial Court of Cassation within the Supreme Court should convene and either vote against or deliberately disregard the meeting, although we should not rely on such judicial activism. In the previous instance concerning Lvov, the judges lacked the necessary votes even to remove him from the administrative post of chairman.

DEJURE Foundation will continue to follow this story.

  • UPD from 15:15. In the initial publication, it was incorrectly stated that the decision takes immediate effect. As Lvov requested an immediate reinstatement in the lawsuit, and KDAC started broadcasting late, the full resolutive part was not recorded. We regret the error, as not all claims were satisfied. Therefore, Lvov will be included in the staff of the Supreme Court after the expiry of the period for an appeal if the Supreme Court does not file it.