Those who register property in names of relatives not to become judges

Дата: 16 December 2015
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Future and current judges will be assessed by the so-called Public Honesty Council.

As the Human Rights Information Centre correspondent reports, this was announced by the experts on the forum “#Constitution: Public Confidence and New Justice.”

Mykhailo Zhernakov, the chief expert on judicial reform of the Reanimation Package of Reforms said, “Let’s be honest: the main problem of our judicial system is not qualification, but the purpose of coming to this profession. If a judge or a candidate for the post of judge has somehow earned something that does not correspond to his/her income, this should be the main reason for being or not being appointed to the position repeatedly or for the first time.”

The representatives of the Reanimation Package of Reforms believe that the package of the implementing draft laws should provide for the procedure for checking honesty of a candidate for the post of a judge – both people, who are not members of the judiciary, and the current judges, who will participate in the competition for the post.

The local residents should be involved in this process as they know where a judge lives, what car he or she has. And this assessment must be done even if a car, a house, a boat or a ship is registered in the name of a wife, mother, friend or anybody else,” Mykhailo Zhernakov said.

According to Vice Speaker of the Parliament of Ukraine Oksana Syroyid, it is better when the draft constitutional amendments are prepared either at the Parliament or outside of political structures. However, the Vice Speaker has certain doubts about the mechanism of formation of the Constitutional Commission, which developed the changes, “If the Constitutional Commission is set up by the President, who appoints Speaker of the Parliament as the Head of the Commission, it is a sort of schizophrenia of authority. Later, when the President sets up the Commission, he gives a requirements list, binding the people who work there to some extent, they realize that the President wants to get something out of it.”

Oksana Syroyid noted that a one-third of the membership of the Commission’s group on judicial are the current judges, who enjoy no confidence while the trustworthy representatives of the Reanimation Package of Reforms were not included in the group. This affects the transparency and credibility of the process.

At the same time, the constitutional amendments in this field were discussed comprehensively during 20 meetings of the Commission. In contrast, for example, the group on decentralization met only twice. In general, the Vice Speaker described the draft as qualitative compared to those that were before as it made it possible to set up new courts and employ new people. In her opinion, the Parliament gains the required number of votes after the MPs will understand what mechanisms will be used to implement these changes.

Oksana Syroyid reminded that now the Center for Political and Legal Reforms, the Reanimation Package of Reforms together with the Presidential Administration were working on the bill to introduce new assessment procedures, simultaneously with the new competition. One of the elements will be the so-called Public Honesty Council, which will assess the honesty of future and current judges.

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