Ukrainian Politics

 Rada adopts presidential bill on judicial system and status of judges

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has adopted as a basis and as a whole the presidential bill No. 4734 on judicial system and status of judges.

281 lawmakers at 226 minimum required have voted for this decision, Censor.NET correspondent reports.

The bill stipulates for abolition of the High Specialized Court for Civil and Criminal Cases, the Supreme Economic Court, the Supreme Administrative Court. The Supreme Anti-Corruption Court, the Supreme Court on Intellectual Property, and local district courts will be established instead.

Read more: Relevant parliamentary committee recommends Rada to adopt draft amendments to Constitution in terms of justice, - MP Chernenko

Besides, Poroshenko's bill abolishes concept of the "first appointment of a judge to the post" (for a five-year term): the judges will be appointed indefinitely only. The Verkhovna Rada will be in charge of creating, reshaping and disbanding the courts. The president will lose these powers. In turn, the Verkhovna Rada will lose the right to authorize arrest or confinement of judges. These powers will be devoted on the Supreme Council of Justice. The age limits and professional skills of judges will be changed as well: a citizen of Ukraine at the age from 30 to 65 years holding a degree in law and having not less than five years' experience of work in a legal field will be able to hold position of a judge. The absolute immunity of a judge will be canceled: it will be impossible to hold a judge criminally liable for decisions made in court, but one can be held accountable, for example, for graft.

Read more: 1,800 judges to be dismissed after Constitution amended, - Justice Minister

The court system will be simplified: it will consist of local courts, courts of appeal, and the Supreme Court.

It should be reminded that following the Revolution of Dignity, the Ukrainian authorities undertook to carry out radical changes in the country. The declared reforms included a judiciary reform. In particular, at the end of October 2015, the Constitutional Commission approved the final version of draft amendments to the Constitution in terms of justice.

On Jan. 28, 2016, the Rada forwarded the said draft amendments to the Constitutional Court. On Feb. 1, the draft amendments were recognized to be in line with the Constitution. On Feb. 2, the draft amendments to the Constitution in terms of justice passed the first reading in the parliament.

Read more: "These are essential steps for Ukraine's future," - European Commissioner Hahn urged Rada to vote judiciary reform

However, the amendments to the Constitution also require changes to other Ukrainian legal acts. To this end, on May 30, Poroshenko brought in a bill on judicial system and status of judges, which was registered on May 31. In order for changes to judicial system to become effective, the parliament must consider and adopt the said bill as well as pass the draft amendments to the Constitution in the second reading.

Poroshenko's bill significantly changes the structure of Ukraine's judicial system as well as the procedure for appointing, dismissal, and prosecution of judges.

Источник: https://en.censor.net.ua/n391471