Archive for April 5th, 2013

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New model for Ukrainian judiciary sent to Venice Commission

April 5, 2013

Not that long ago I wrote an entry relating to the almost forgotten entity that is the Constitutional Assembly of Ukraine.

Well, the Constitutional Assembly has now sent the Venice Commission its draft for amendments to Chapter VIII (Justice) of the Constitution of Ukraine, a draft that proposes a new judicial model – a model that takes into account most of the previous recommendations of the Venice Commission – apparently.

Of particular note, not to say importance, is the creation of a body to be called the “High Council of Justice”, created from within the judicial system, with members appointed by the members of the judiciary, rather than by parliament or president.

A major step towards a truly independent judiciary – not withstanding the dark and foreboding shadow relating to the fact that politicians in Ukraine currently still appoint and dismiss judges – a fact that necessarily undermines judicial independence – and that any members of this new body will be there, initially at least, due to the political patriarchy that has placed them where they are today.

Another major inclusion is the removal of immunity (and de facto impunity) of judges.  They will be subject to the  laws they interpret and service, just like every other citizen in Ukraine (except the politicians who are yet to vote to remove their own immunity (and de facto impunity)).

Let us hope that the Venice Commission is swift in its appraisal of the submitted draft, finds the vast majority of it acceptable – if not all of it – and returns it for RADA consideration expeditiously whilst there remains some political  momentum to try and appease EU sensibilities.

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