September 10, 2021
Statement by the Delegation of the European Union, the U.S. Embassy, the German Embassy, the Embassy of Canada, the Embassy of the United Kingdom, the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine, the United Nations Development Programme, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
In August 2021, international partners congratulated Ukraine on the adoption and entry into force of historic and crucial legislative amendments for judicial reforms, introducing independent selection commissions that will select and vet the individuals who serve in Ukraine’s judiciary, with the temporary participation of international experts.
Today, international partners presented to the Acting Chair of the High Council of Justice two joint lists of international experts for their selection and appointment to the Ethics Council for the High Council of Justice and the Selection Commission for the High Qualification Commission of Judges. All experts have superior credentials and experience as senior judges, prosecutors, and leading experts on judicial ethics, selection, and anti-corruption.
These nominations reflect our ongoing commitment to support key reforms aimed at strengthening the rule of law, attracting foreign investment for business and economic growth, and advancing Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
The temporary but crucial role of international experts, alongside Ukrainian judges, in vetting and selecting members of the High Qualification Commission of Judges and the High Council of Justice, aims to restore public trust in judicial institutions, resist the influence of vested interests, and defeat judicial corporatism. The High Qualification Commission of Judges is the single institution that is empowered to select new judges in order to fill the many vacancies in the Ukrainian courts of law. The High Council of Justice is the highest judicial governance body in Ukraine that nominates judges for presidential appointment.
International partners have fulfilled their commitment, in line with relevant provisions of the law, by nominating highly-qualified international experts, who stand ready to devote their expertise and knowledge to support Ukraine, and Ukraine’s judiciary, in this historic reform.
International partners look forward to similarly strong nominations by the Council of Judges. Announcing clear application requirements for candidates interested in serving on the Ethics Council should be a critical first step.
Ukrainian members of the Selection Commission and the Ethics Council will play an important role, together with international experts, in implementing the most fundamental renewal of Ukraine’s judiciary since the country’s independence. International partners stand ready to further support Ukraine on this key reform, which Ukrainian citizens demanded during the Revolution of Dignity and which they rightly deserve.