Dissolution of the Council of judges, liquidation of the court head and court deputy head positions

24 January 2023
Dissolution of the Council of judges, liquidation of the court head and court deputy head positions
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Dissolution of the Council of judges, liquidation of the court head and court deputy head positions 

Draft bill #8342 of January 10, 2023 

Cosponsors: a group of MPs from factions Servant of the People and Holos 

Who is affected: judges, the Higher Council of Justice, the Congress of Judges, the Council of Judges, heads and employees of court apparatuses. 

Summary of the bill: 

  • the Council of Judges will be dissolved. It is a judicial self-governance body that works during periods between the Congresses of Judges, and the bill proposes to transfer its responsibilities to the Higher Council of Judges 
  • positions of court head and court deputy head (except for the position of the Head of the Supreme Court) will be liquidated. The work done by court heads and their deputies will instead be divided between meetings of judges and heads of court apparatuses

  • meetings of judges will have the following powers: 
    • approve the appointment of the head of the court apparatus and his or her deputy 
    • authorize the head of the court apparatus, a judge, or several judges to represent the court as a legal entity 
    • approve the organizational structure of the court apparatus and the size of its staff 
    • approve vacation schedules for judges

  • the head of the court apparatus will have the following powers: 
    • execute the decisions of meetings of judges 
    • appoint and dismiss employees of the apparatus 
    • issue orders based on acts appointing, transferring, or dismissing judges 
    • inform the High Qualification Commission of Judges and State Judicial Administration about vacant judicial positions 
    • organize the keeping of court statistics and informational logistics for judges 
  • members of the High Qualification Commission of Judges, the head of State Judicial Administration, and his or her deputy will be obliged to inform the Higher Council of Justice about real or potential conflicts of interests 

What is right: powers of court heads are often used to put unfair pressure on judges. For example, via manipulations with a vacation schedule or interference with the work of a court apparatus. Liquidation of this positions could make judges more independent. In particular, situations like the one with a judge of Oktiabrskyi court of Poltava Larysa Holnyk will happen less often.