High Council of Justice tries to undermine the judicial reform once again

The High Council of Justice (HCJ) again shows the intention to undermine the judicial reform. In January 2017 the HCJ made certain statements on a special procedure for the arrest and detention of judges and it actually undermined the achievements of the judicial reform. On March 9, 2017, the High Council of Justice approved the Conclusion on the alleged unconstitutionality of the Law "On the Specialized Anti-Corruption Courts" and on the lack of grounds for their establishment.Such HCJ actions and statements are harming the judicial independence and undermining the public trust and HCJ ability to fulfill the Council function.

It should be emphasized that the HCJ conclusion is consultative, it is mandatory for Parliament consideration, and may be rejected as unsubstantiated.

It should be reminded that on January 17, 2017, the HCJ stated that according to the Article 482 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine choosing a preventive measure for a judge, who was «caught red-handed», without permission of the HCJ is allegedly illegal.

However, according to the Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine (in part of justice)” which entered into force on September 30, 2016, the consent of the HCJ is not required if the judge was detained right on the very commission or immediately after the commission of a grave or especially grave crime.