Council of Europe is concerned about restarting judicial reform in Ukraine

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe expressed its position regarding the Law of Ukraine No. 193-IX “On Amending the Law of Ukraine “On the Judicial System and the Status of Judges” and some laws of Ukraine regarding the activities of judicial self-governments”. In particular, the decision expresses concern about the lack of sufficient consultation and a thorough analysis of this Law.

“Law and Business” reports: The decision notes the immutability of the judges and calls for power are made to fully take advantage of the experience of the Venice Commission and the help of the Council of Europe in ensuring compliance with the law.

Ministers of the Council of Europe indicated that the amendments, which recently were introduced by Law No. 193-IX, were adopted without sufficient consultation with the relevant judicial institutions and authorities without a thorough analysis of the consequences of this Law, in particular on the independence and effectiveness of the judiciary; they have also expressed concern about the possible adverse and long-term consequences for the Supreme Court.

Ministers of the Council of Europe indicated that the amendments, which recently were introduced by Law No. 193-IX, were adopted without sufficient consultation with the relevant judicial institutions and authorities without a thorough analysis of the consequences of this Law, in particular on the independence and effectiveness of the judiciary; they have also expressed concern about the possible adverse and long-term consequences for the Supreme Court.

They also recalled that during 2014-2018 period, the Ukrainian authorities in close cooperation with the Council of Europe took significant steps to reform the system of judicial discipline and professional activity by amending the Constitution, legislation, as well as practical and institutional measures.

The decision of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe indicates that conditions are provided for any process for the selection of judges for the reformed Supreme Court to comply with the Convention, and also that judges should be evaluated in this context on the basis of objective criteria and sufficient assurance of procedural guarantees.

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