14:05 20.07.2020

Supreme Court Chief Justice criticizes Saakashvili's reform ideas as 'slogans without concrete proposals, no dialogue'

3 min read
Supreme Court Chief Justice criticizes Saakashvili's reform ideas as 'slogans without concrete proposals, no dialogue'

Supreme Court Chief Justice Valentyna Danishevska has said she does not see specific proposals for reforming the judicial system of Ukraine in the statements of the head of the executive committee of the National Reforms Council Mikheil Saakashvili or any attempt by the National Council to communicate with the judiciary.

In an exclusive interview with the Interfax-Ukraine agency, she said: "Apart from slogans about radical revolutionary changes, we, in fact, hear nothing concrete. They talk about creating the perfect system that works perfectly. And there is a struggle over who will appoint these ideal judges."

Answering the question whether the initiative to include foreign judges in the Supreme Court can be considered rational, the head of the Supreme Court noted: "About the initiative with foreign judges, I would say this: the results of the work of such a judge will depend on which state he or she comes from."

"The Constitution requires the judge to be a citizen of Ukraine, to know the state language. Actually, I don't know any examples in the world that this practice would contribute to some kind of breakthrough," she added.

Danishevska added: "As for the judicial system in Georgia. We are always happy about the success of our colleagues in other countries. However, it seems that Mr. Saakashvili himself was not delighted with the verdict of the Georgian courts against Mr. Saakashvili."

She noted absence of any dialogue between the National Council and the judiciary: "There is no dialogue with the National Reforms Council, there were not even any attempts to communicate. If there are ideas, proposals for considering certain problematic issues, we will immediately respond, because we are the first who are interested in improving justice," she said.

As for communications with President Volodymyr Zelensky, Danishevska said the head of state has not met with her personally, but there is communication with the President's Office after the decision of the Constitutional Court on the unconstitutionality of a number of provisions of the law on the judicial system and status of judges.

"Whether this dialogue will be productive - time will tell. But our first marker is the launch of the High Anti-Corruption Court and the appointment to local courts and the oath of 400 new judges," she said.

Danishevska said all branches of government in Ukraine should work to achieve a real result.

"What happens in practice? As soon as the country approaches the next election campaign, then all candidates begin to increase their authority by humiliating others. After all, it is most profitable to designate the judicial system as the culprit, because it does not go to the polls. In order not to draw attention to other problems in the state, attention is constantly focused on the shortcomings of the judicial system, although it suffers from the same diseases as the entire society, all branches of government," she said.

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