High Council of Justice Is Implementing the Law on Amending the Law on the Judiciary and Status of Judges and other Laws of Ukraine Concerning Activities of Judicial Governance Bodies

Formation of the High Qualifications Commission of Judges (HQC) according to latest amendments to the Law of Ukraine on the Judiciary and Status of Judges is a priority task of the High Council of Justice (HCJ). This is the point made by Andii Ovsiienko, Head of the High Council of Justice, at a regular Rule of Law Donors and Implementers Meeting organized by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

He has stressed that the HCJ is carrying out a large-scale and complicated work to introduce the changes with allowance for best European experience of the judiciary organization and judicial bodies’ operation. In the first place, this calls for drafting regulations on establishment and operation of new institutions envisaged by the Law and amending the HCJ Rules of Procedure with regards to rationalizing activities of HCJ itself. The Regulation on Competitive Selection of the HQC members has been already drafted. The document is sent out to the Council of Judges and National School of Judges for comments and proposals.

The HCJ Head has emphasized that despite a tight timeframe for implementing the Law, the promptness should not affect the quality of the deliverable.

“We are doing our best to balance this process by developing a proper document which would enable us to form the Commission whose members’ integrity and competence could not be questioned and avoid situations where the public issue warnings about judges whom the Commission will select, nominate or transfer,” pointed out Mr. Ovsiienko.

Completing qualification assessment of Ukrainian judges and filling vacant positions at courts depends to a large extent on activities of the new composition of the Commission, and this also a priority of the HCJ as an authority responsible for formation of the judiciary.

HCJ members Svitlana Shelest and Oleg Prudivus have discussed requirements to candidates for the HQC member positions, approaches to evaluation of such candidates while ensuring equal rights for participation in the competitive selection process, and a mechanism of forming the Selection Committee with the donor community representatives. Besides, they have touched upon implementation of other provisions of the Law with due regard to the Venice Commission’s Opinion on Law No.193-IX and position of the international community representatives. In addition, the speakers have mentioned that the HCJ does value and is committed to further cooperation with donor organizations for the purposes of developing its institutional capacities and exercising its powers efficiently and effectively.