18:01 05.11.2016

Ukrainian Rada passes at first reading bill on High Council of Justice

Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada has passed at first reading president's bill No. 5180 on the High Council of Justice as part of the implementation of judicial reform.

An Interfax-Ukraine correspondent has reported that a total of 232 MPs backed the document on Thursday.

The bill sets the status, power, the basis of organization and operation of the High Council of Justice. The council is an independent constitutional body of judicial self-government permanently operating to ensure independence of judicial power. Its functioning is based on responsibility to society.

According to the document, the High Council of Justice will make decisions to dismiss judges from their posts and permit detention or arrest of judges. At present, Ukrainian parliament gives consent to detain or arrest judges.

The council would have powers to submit proposals to appoint judges, create bodies to hear cases on disciplinary responsibility of judges, make decisions to transfer judges from one court to another, agree the number of judges in court, participate in determining expenses of the national budget for maintaining courts and justice agencies, approve the requirements for staff, financial and material provision of courts under a proposal of the State Court Administration of Ukraine.

The High Council of Justice consists of 21 members. Some 10 members are elected by the congress of judges, the president appoints two of them, parliament two more, the congress of lawyers two more, the Ukrainian conference of prosecutors two more and the congress of representatives of law educational and scientific institutions two more.

Council members' tenure is four years. The same person cannot be a member of the High Council of Justice two tenures in a row.

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