Zelensky asks Venice Commission to help resolve constitutional crisis

Zelensky asks Venice Commission to help resolve constitutional crisis

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky had a phone conversation with President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio regarding the search for a balanced comprehensive solution to resolve the crisis in Ukraine promptly and efficiently.

"We need to work out mechanisms that would permanently eliminate the possibility of any influence on the judges of the CCU and improve the decision-making procedures of judges. It is important to restore public confidence in constitutional justice. This confidence is now completely destroyed. I suggest stepping up work to find a balanced comprehensive solution to resolve the crisis promptly and efficiently," Zelensky stressed, the press service of the President’s Office reports.

Gianni Buquicchio agreed that resolving the constitutional crisis requires swift action and should be based on the rule of law.

Volodymyr Zelensky appealed to the Venice Commission regarding its expertise in explaining how to avoid damage to anticorruption reform by the CCU decision of October 27.

The parties also discussed the urgent need to develop bills to restore punishment for submitting inaccurate information in declarations and ensure full operation of the NACP and NABU. They also focused on comprehensive judicial reform, including reforming the mechanism for selecting judges, as well as the High Qualification Commission of Judges.

The interlocutors also agreed that the Commission for Legal Reform should receive an expert assessment from the Venice Commission and GRECO regarding its work.

On October 27, the Constitutional Court repealed Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code on penalties for lies in asset declarations and some provisions of the law "On Corruption Prevention." In particular, the Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional the powers of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) to verify officials' asset declarations, monitor the lifestyle of those who submit asset declarations, establish the timeliness of submission of asset declarations, as well as provisions on open access to declarations in the single state register.

In connection with the decision of the Constitutional Court, President Volodymyr Zelensky held a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council on October 29 to determine measures for the state's immediate response to new threats and challenges to national security and defense. The decision was made at the meeting to reopen public access to the unified state register of asset declarations, to ensure the holding of special verifications by the NACP.

On October 30, Zelensky tabled in the Verkhovna Rada his bill "On Renewal of Public Confidence in Constitutional Judiciary" (No. 4288), proposing to terminate the powers of the current composition of the Constitutional Court. However, the parliament has not yet supported the document.

On November 2, Verkhovna Rada Chairman Dmytro Razumkov said the parliament planned to resume electronic declaration with a new law.


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