The Ministry of Education and Science has scheduled a Congress of Legal Scholars for December 16, 2022. It will be held in Kyiv at the Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics (19 Kyoto street).
Earlier, we emphasised the importance of holding the Congress in Kyiv to the representatives of the authorities. This is a positive change that will contribute to greater transparency of the process.
The previous Congress took place in Poltava on August 19 with significant violations, namely:
- among the educational institutions and institutions that delegated their representatives to the Congress on December 10, 2021, there were at least two universities that apparently did not meet the requirements of the law;
- the August Congress was just a continuation of the Congress that started on December 10, 2021. The number and list of participants who were delegated in December 2021 and August 2022 differed. It is questionable from the legal point of view that the organising committee decided to form a new list of delegates in August 2022, although it was the same Congress for which the list of delegates had already been determined. This is important because according to the law, a member of the HCJ is elected by the majority of votes of the "elected delegates of the congress";
- the procedure was not synchronised with the time required for the vetting of candidates for the HCJ by the Ethics Council. Thus, on the date of the Congress, the candidates probably have not yet been vetted by the Ethics Council;
- the place of the Congress (in Poltava) was difficult to reach for the delegates from other regions, so some delegates did not participate in the Congress. As a result, this could create an undue advantage for those delegates for whom it was easier to reach Poltava;
- the majority of the members of the organising committee were representatives of Kharkiv universities, which could indicate the bias and involvement of the committee;
- during the preparations for the congress, it became clear that the organising committee did not send letters to some educational institutions informing them of the time and place of the continuation of the Congress, which began in December 2021.
Finally, during the Congress in August, representatives of law universities appointed Dmytro Lukyanov, a doctor of legal sciences and an associate member of the National Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine, to the HCJ. There are reasonable doubts about his integrity, as evidenced by a number of facts. In particular, he made decisions in conflict of interest and supported candidates of low integrity in the competition for the Constitutional Court. We provided more information about Dmytro Lukyanov in our analysis.
Indications are that the process of selecting candidates for the HCJ lasts much longer than predicted, so there is a high probability that by December 16, the Ethics Council will not have enough time to analyse all candidates. Nevertheless, this is a positive sign, which indicates that the process of appointing a new member of the HCJ has been launched. We invite all decent scholars to apply as soon as the start of accepting documents is announced.
DEJURE Foundation will be closely monitoring the Congress in December. Hopefully, it will be transparent.