TI Ukraine urges Poroshenko to change bill on Anti-Corruption Court

TI Ukraine urges Poroshenko to change bill on Anti-Corruption Court

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Ukrinform
Transparency International Ukraine has called on President Petro Poroshenko to withdraw his bill on the Anti-Corruption Court and introduce a new one, taking into account the recommendations of the Venice Commission.

This is stated in a report of the organization posted on its website, an Ukrinform correspondent said.

"There is good reason to doubt that if draft Law of Ukraine No. 7440 'On the High Anti-Corruption Court' is passed, it will provide for independent and unbiased selection of judges and proper functioning of the future High Anti-Corruption Court. TI Ukraine urges the President of Ukraine to withdraw draft law No. 7440 and submit an updated one, which would take into account the aforementioned recommendations of the Venice Commission," reads the statement.

Having studied the provisions of draft law No. 7440, the branch of the global network has arrived at the conclusion that some of its provisions do not comply with the recommendations of the Venice Commission of October 6, 2017.

Transparency International draws attention to the fact that the draft law provides for advisory role of the Public Council of international experts exclusively. Its negative conclusion on a certain candidate for the position of a judge can be ignored by the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine - by 11 out of 16 votes of HQCJ members. "In contrast, the Venice Commission recommended to provide international organizations and donors with a decisive role in the process of selection of judges. Thus, the transparency of such selection appears questionable," reads the statement. 

Experts of the organization also noted that the exclusive jurisdiction of the High Anti-Corruption Court does not include all crimes under investigative jurisdiction of the NABU. At the same time, it is extended to an entire range of crimes under investigative jurisdiction of the National Police of Ukraine and State Investigation Bureau. 

"The Venice Commission states clearly in its opinion that the jurisdiction of the court has to correspond to the investigative jurisdiction of the NABU and the SAP. It can keep the High Anti-Corruption Court occupied with too many cases," TI said. 

In addition, Transparency International defines "unrealistically high" qualification requirements to the candidates for the positions of judges of the High Anti-Corruption Court. These requirements narrow down the number of potential candidates to the High Anti-Corruption Court significantly, "which can be expected to impede the proper selection process."

As reported, the president tabled bill No. 7440 "On High Anti-Corruption Court" in parliament on December 22. The text of the document was published on December 26. The bill aims to determine the fundamentals of the organization and activities of this court and the special requirements for judges of this court and guarantees of their activities. The document notes that in order to appoint a judge to the High Anti-Corruption Court a citizen, in addition to the length of service as a judge/lawyer, scientific activity, must have significant experience in carrying out international intergovernmental organizations or international judicial institutions abroad the professional activities in the field of the law on fighting corruption.

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