EU Ambassador hopes Ukraine to implement Venice Commission conclusions on HCJ bill.

The Venice Commission's conclusion on the bill on the High Council of Justice (HCJ) will pave the way for the establishment of a selection procedure for the High Qualification Commission of Judges, as well as guide ongoing discussions on reforming the High Council of Judges and a new law on the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Matti Maasikas has said.

"This very important opinion hopefully paves the way to establishing the selection procedure for the High Qualification Commission of Judges [draft law 3711-d] and also gives direction to the ongoing discussions on reforming the High Council of Judges and on the new NABU law," Maasikas said on Twitter on Thursday.

The Ambassador pointed out that the conclusion on the (temporary) participation of international experts in the selection bodies is especially important. "Venice Commission [...] considers it necessary that, following a repeat vote, the vote of the group with at least two votes by international experts should prevail. This is not only important to establish trust in the Ukraine's judiciary, but it is also acceptable from the viewpoint of national sovereignty [...] the current members of the HCJ [...] would only be suspended and the decision on dismissal would remain with the appointing body," the Ambassador quoted the text of the Venice Commission's conclusion.

He also cited a fragment of the conclusion that all decisions of the Ethics Council, both concerning candidates and current members of the HCJ, can be appealed to the Supreme Court. Therefore, the final decision remains with a national body in all cases, the diplomat added.

"Following this advice would give certainty also to international partners like the EU and others who will be invited to propose experts," Maasikas said.

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