Venice Commission invites Ukrainian President to submit revised draft law on anti-corruption courts to Parliament

Venice Commission invites Ukrainian President to submit revised draft law on anti-corruption courts to Parliament

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Ukrinform
In its opinion on the draft law on anti-corruption courts in Ukraine adopted on Friday, October 6, the European Commission for Democracy through Law (the “Venice Commission”) stated that many of the provisions of the draft law provide a good basis for the establishment of a high specialised anti-corruption court as foreseen in the Law of Ukraine “On Judicial System and Status of Judges."

However, the Venice Commission made several recommendations to reduce the risk that it could be considered unconstitutional, Ukrinform learnt this from the Venice Commission.

“In order to dispel any doubts about the constitutionality of the legislative procedure, the Venice Commission invites the President of Ukraine to promptly submit his own draft law on anti-corruption courts – which should be based on the Venice Commission’s recommendations. The current draft law (Draft Law No. 6011) thus needs to be withdrawn,” the opinion says.

The law provides for the transition to a three-tier judicial system in Ukraine and the establishment of the high specialised anti-corruption court as a court of the first instance. A separate law on the high specialised anti-corruption court is expected to be adopted.

As of now, two bills were submitted to the Ukrainian Parliament for consideration: No. 6011 (authored by MPs Oksana Syroyid and Ivan Krulko) and No.6529 (authored by Serhiy Alekseyev). The Venice Commission criticized both bills, noting that Alekseyev’s bill provides for the establishment of chambers, not a separate court, while the bill by Syroyid and Krulko raises doubts about its compliance with the Constitution and politicizes the process of appointing judges, which contradicts the principle of independence of the judiciary.

The Venice Commission experts positively assessed the progress of the judicial reform in the country and supported the initiative of the President to establish an anti-corruption court in Ukraine.

“The only way forward in the fight against high-level corruption in Ukraine is the prompt establishment of a high specialised anti-corruption court (HACC), as foreseen in the Law “On the Judicial System and the Status of Judges”, whose judges are selected in a transparent procedure with international involvement,” the Venice Commission said.

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