Rada launches judicial reform, passing new wording of law on judicial system, status of judges
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has adopted a new wording of the law on judicial system and status of judges, which will enable to implement provisions of the bill on amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine regarding the judiciary, if adopted.
Some 281 MPs voted for the wording of law No. 4734 on judicial system and status of judges proposed by the president.
Now judges will be transferred from one court to another not by the president but the Higher Council of Justice. However, they will be appointed by the head of state on the proposal of the Higher Council of Justice.
The law establishes a procedure of selecting and appointing judges. The Higher Qualification Commission of Judges holds a qualification examination, verification of candidates within the law to combat corruption, as well as a tender for vacant positions of judge. The commission puts applicants forward to the Higher Council of Justice, which decides on nominating the candidate to the president of Ukraine for appointment. According to the law, a judge of the Court of Appeals can be a person who confirmed professional ability on the results of qualification evaluation, with experience of judicial work of 5 years, research experience in the field of law of not less than 7 years, professional experience of lawyer or conducting defense in criminal prosecution for at least 7 years.
The law establishes the powers of judges, appointed for five years prior to the entry into force of this act, will terminate with the completion of the term for which they were appointed. Upon completion of their powers, they can be appointed as a judge on the results of a tender to be conducted in a manner prescribed by this law.
"This is an important point, which stipulates that all the judges, who were appointed to the post for five years, will be on general grounds put forward to the competition and, if approved, may continue to hold their post," head of the legal policy and justice committee Ruslan Kniazevych said.
The system of judicial organization includes local courts, courts of appeals and the Supreme Court, which is the highest court in the judiciary system. For consideration of certain categories of cases the system has higher specialized courts. Ukraine will also get the Higher Specialized Court on Intellectual Property Issues and the Higher Specialized Anti-Corruption Court.
The document stipulates courts are created and liquidated by law. The president of Ukraine after consultation with the Higher Council of Justice submits the draft law on establishment or liquidation of courts to the Verkhovna Rada.