According to the results of the elections to the High Council of Justice (HCJ) held on Mar. 14-15 in Kiev, four new members of the Board were elected: judge of the Appeal Court of Odessa region Ihor Artemenko, judge of the Appeal Court of Volyn region Andriy Ovsiyenko, judge of the Appeal Court of Kyiv Mykola Hudyk, judge of the Kyiv Commercial Court of Appeal Viktor Shapran. It is also planned to hold additional elections to appoint two more judges. The additional elections date will be announced later.
Before the elections, non-governmental organization CHESNO (eng. honestly) launched a long-term campaign “Filter the Judiciary!” and checked all the judges who had applied to participate in the elections to the HCJ. The criteria for the evaluation of judges were as follows: questionable decision-making, involvement in corruption, non- transparency of wealth, involvement in human rights violation, unethical behavior, family, political and commercial ties of judges.
On Mar. 15, CHESNO, the Center for Combating Corruption, AutoMaidan, judicial reform group of the Reanimation Package of Reforms made a joint statement on the prevention of dishonest election of judges to the HCJ. The joint statement contains the names of candidates having tainted professional activity and whose election could undermine confidence not only in HCJ but in the judicial reform in general.
On Mar. 14, the first day of the elections, activists came to the October Palace, where HCJ elections were held, with a public action “Walk of dishonest judges” to draw attention to the elections and their individual candidates. There are no people among the newly elected judges whose reputation concern the activists. The next step is the additional elections, which will be attentively watched by the public.
The High Council of Justice is an old-new body of the judiciary, in fact, it was reformed by the Law “On the High Council of Justice” in Dec. 21, 2016.
Currently, the High Council of Justice is in conflict with the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine. The main reasons for this lie in the interpretation of the Law “On Special Anti-Corruption Courts.” For more details on this topic, read a separate article with expert comments “Ukraine to create anti-corruption courts this year, expert comment.”