Trust in the judiciary in Ukraine is traditionally low and it is declining still further. Judicial reform is a long-awaited one, and this year new legislation on the judiciary was adopted. Now it is time for the reform to be implemented and the first steps have been taken already. In particular, the Council of Judges has delegated its representatives to the Ethics Council that is supposed to start cleaning up the judiciary.
As for other important decisions, the President once more overstepped his authority by dismissing a member of the Anti-Monopoly Committee while MPs proposed to remind state and local officials that their activities are funded with taxpayers’ money.
Council of Judges delegated its candidates to the Ethics Council
Decision by the Council of Judges #48 of October 23, 2021
Decision–maker: the Council of Judges.
Who is affected: judges, judicial self-government, citizens, and businesses.
Summary of the decision: the Council of Judges nominated the following candidates to the Ethics Council:
- Lev Kyshakevych, a Supreme Court judge of the Cassation Criminal Court
- Yurii Triasun, a judge of the Kyiv Court of Appeal
- Volodymyr Siveryn, a retired judge of the Eastern Commercial Court of Appeal
- Tetiana Chumachenko, a Supreme Court judge of the Cassation Administrative Court.
Why this is important:
- the Ethics Council will decide whether candidates for the Supreme Council of Justice meet the criteria of professional ethics and integrity
- as soon as all members of the Ethical Council are appointed, they will start a one-time evaluation of whether the current members of the Supreme Council of Justice (except the Head of the Supreme Court) meet the criteria of professional ethics and integrity.
What is right: the Ethical Council will soon start its work. Current and potential members of the Supreme Council of Justice will be properly evaluated. Later this will help to launch the work of the High Qualification Commission of Judges, a body responsible for the selection of judicial candidates.
What’s next: the Head of the Supreme Council of Justice will appoint three of the proposed candidates as members of the Ethical Council delegated by the Council of Justice. Three more members will be selected from candidates proposed by international and foreign organizations.
Deputy Head of the Anti–Monopoly Committee dismissed
Presidential decree #546/2021 of October 22, 2021
Decision-maker: the President.
Who is affected: citizens, businesses, monopolists, the Anti-Monopoly Committee, the Cabinet, and the President.
Summary of the decree: Natalia Buromenska is dismissed as the Deputy Head of the Anti-Monopoly Committee of Ukraine.
Why this is important:
- members of the Anti-Monopoly Committee, except for its head, are state commissioners with significant powers to counter unfair economic competition
- the President has decisive control over the Anti-Monopoly Committee due to his power to appoint and dismiss state commissioners
- Natalia Buromenska has worked as a state commissioner for only over a year instead of seven years provisioned by law.
What is wrong:
- the President cannot appoint state commissioners since the Constitution does not grant him the authority. The Law on the Anti-Monopoly Committee, however, expands presidential powers in violation of the Constitution
- unconstitutional appointments and dismissals of the Anti-Monopoly Committee members undermine the legitimacy of the Committee, its independence and effectiveness.
Additional information: some of the risks stemming from the President’s influence over the Anti-Monopoly Committee were described by the former Anti-Monopoly Committee state commissioner (2015—2019) Ahia Zahrebelska.
MPs introduced a draft bill regulating advertisement of publicly funded programs and events
Cosponsors: a group of MPs from Holos faction with Kira Rudyk as the first signatory.
Who is affected: government bodies, local governments, public officials, and citizens.
Summary of the bill:
- government bodies and local governments will have to include a disclaimer “Funded with taxpayers’ money” into all informational materials about programs (social aid, cultural, etc.) and events funded from the government budget or local budgets
- the disclaimer will have to cover at least 15% of the total area of the informational material.
Why this is important: public officials often use events funded from the government budget or local budgets to improve their approval ratings. Mayors during election campaigns resort to this practice excessively. MPs elected in single-mandate districts also try to get votes by “supporting” the construction of schools, road repairs, or the development of parks that in reality are funded by the state. Prominent recent examples of using public money for campaigning purposes are presidential programs Big Construction, Big Restoration, etc.
What is right: the bill is important for political education. Disclaimers on billboards will remind Ukrainian citizens that state and local programs are as a rule funded by taxpayers’ money.
If you liked this post, you can donate usDonate
New judges of the Constitutional Court and…
The events of this week will be remembered by history since they will have a significant impact on the balance…
Special edition digest! A new draft bill…
The Revolution of Dignity made clear that the Law on the city of Kyiv should be changed. In 2010, this…