Swearing in of judges appointed by president is priority - Supreme Court head
Judges, who have the right to retire, leave the system because of the excessive workload, pressure, "bullying policy" and, in general, insecurity from the state, head of the Supreme Court Valentyna Danishevska said.
In an exclusive interview with the Interfax-Ukraine agency, Danishevska said that after the completion of the work of the previous composition of the High Qualification Commission of Judges (HQCJ), the judicial system had certain personnel reserves, and on the recommendation of the High Council of Justice, the president appointed 204 out of 400 judges.
"Many of these judges have already held positions in different courts, receive salaries, but do not administer justice until they are sworn in. So, swearing in is the first priority today. And we expect appropriate action from the president," said the head of the Supreme Court.
Speaking about the reasons for the numerous facts of dismissal of judges from the system and, as a result, the staff shortage in the courts, Danishevska said: "The situation, to put it mildly, is not too good. In most courts, judges carry an overwhelming burden. They consider difficult, partly resonant cases. There are facts of pressure where judges do not feel that they are protected by the state. And in addition, there is an endless policy of bullying ... Therefore, the judges who have the right to retire, just retire."
According to her, 119 judges resigned from the judicial system in six months, 98 of them - in the last three months alone.
The head of the Supreme Court said that at present only 63% of the required number of judges work in Ukrainian courts. In some courts of appeal, according to Danishevska, there are five-seven times fewer judges than required.
"About 10 courts in Ukraine do not work at all due to the lack of judges with necessary powers there, so the state simply does not provide access to justice in these regions," she said.
"To change the situation for the better, we need to find understanding at the state level that independence is needed not for a judge, but for those who apply to court or the state. If independence is not ensured, then there will be no court in Ukraine that people want. Unfortunately, we constantly see encroachments on the independence of the judiciary from other branches of government," Danishevska said.