Judicial reform in action: most members of the High Council of Justice have resigned

Читати українською.

On February 22, 10 members of the High Council of Justice resigned. Natalia Krasnoshchokova, Oleg Prudyvus, Larysa Shvetsova, Svitlana Shelest, Serhiy Bolotin, Volodymyr Hovorukha, Larysa Ivanova, Viktor Matviychuk, Tetiana Rozvaliaeva, Valeriy Sukhovoy were among them. Thus, after February 23, the appointment bodies - the President, the Congress of Judges, the Conference of Prosecutors - must announce competitions to fill vacancies.

Viktor Hryshchuk, Oksana Blazhivska, Inna Plakhtiy, Vitaliy Salikhov, and the President of the Supreme Court Vsevolod Kniazev remain members of the HCJ. These HCJ members will soon be checked for integrity by the Ethics Council.

“Yesterday the competition for the High Council of Justice started. The Ethics Council asked the candidates in great detail about the smallest discrepancies in their lifestyle and incomes. And today most members of the HCJ have resigned. This is a victory and the best illustration of the effectiveness of judicial reform, which started last July. Now the Ethics Council will not have to spend a lot of time checking the current members and will be able to focus immediately on renewing the body. Now there are 16 vacancies, the competition for 5 is already underway. We can get a renewed HCJ in a few months.”

- said Mykhailo Zhernakov, Chair of the Board of the DEJURE Foundation.

The expert added that the absence of a quorum of the HCJ would in no way create a "collapse of the judiciary", as opponents of the reform state, as the HCJ does not currently exercise most of its powers.

The Ethics Council, which will reform the HCJ, was formed on November 9, 2021. According to the law on the HCJ reform, the HCJ members must be checked for integrity and professional ethics within six months of the start of the Ethics Council. On February 8, the Ethics Council started checking the integrity of the current HCJ members (except the President of the Supreme Court). After that, the acting Head of the HCJ Oleksiy Malovatsky and the HCJ member Pavlo Grechkivsky resigned.

On February 21, the Ethics Council held the first day of interviews with the candidates for the High Council of Justice.