International Experts Shared Their Experience in Selecting Candidates for Judicial Positions in the High Anti-Corruption Court

The participants of a monthly Rule of Law Donors and Implementers Meeting in Ukraine discussed the benefits of the international experts’ participation in the process of selecting candidates for judicial positions in the High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) and its Appellate Chamber.

The Law of Ukraine “On High Anti-Corruption Court” establishes the authority of the Public Council of International Experts to assist the High Qualifications Commission of Judges in verifying whether the candidates for positions of HACC Justices meet the criteria of integrity (morality, honesty, integrity) in order to promote public confidence in the objectivity of the results of the selection process and high professionalism and integrity of candidates.

The legal framework for the creation of a specialized court for consideration of criminal proceedings upon the results of investigations by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau was one of the priority tasks of the expert support of the USAID New Justice Program. As a result of cooperation of donors and Ukrainian experts coordinated by the USAID New Justice Program, a “Common Understanding of the Basic Principles for Establishing High Anti-Corruption Court in Ukraine” was developed.

The document highlighted the key elements that should ensure the transparency of establishing the HACC in accordance with international and European standards, including the participation of foreign experts.

During the meeting, the Chairman of the Public Council of International Experts, Sir Anthony Hooper, noted that the submission of written explanations by candidates is an integral part of verifying whether the candidates for HAC judicial positions meet the integrity criteria as when asked to give the answers in writing it is much harder for the candidates to avoid answering questions than during an oral interview.

Oleksandr Piskun, Democracy Project Management Specialist, Office of Democracy and Governance, USAID Regional Mission for Ukraine and Belarus, invited Sir Anthony Hooper to continue expert cooperation, in particular, within the framework of training seminars on developing the interviewing techniques for the representatives of judicial self-government bodies.

Thomas White, Director of the Office of Democracy and Governance at USAID Regional Mission for Ukraine and Belarus, also attended the meeting and emphasized the importance of establishing in Ukraine the High Anti-Corruption Court, which is of great importance for the development of Ukraine as a democratic country, and therefore for the implementation of the USAID mission in Ukraine.