Ukrainian senior officials, G7 and EU ambassadors discuss judicial reform, approve joint statement.

The Office of the President of Ukraine hosted a meeting of senior members of Ukrainian parliament and judicial bodies, diplomats from the Group of Seven and the European Union to discuss the judicial reform in Ukraine.

According to the President’s Office, the event was attended by Deputy Head of the Office of the Head of State Andriy Smyrnov, Chairman of the Committee on Legal Policy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Kostin, Chairman of the Committee on Anti-Corruption Policy of the Verkhovna Rada Anastasia Radina, Chairman of the Commission on Legal Reform under the President of Ukraine, MP Serhiy Ionushas, Minister of Justice of Ukraine Denys Maliuska, Chairman of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention Oleksandr Novikov, Chairman of the Supreme Court Valentyna Danishevska, Chairman of the Council of Judges of Ukraine Bohdan Monich, G7 ambassadors and ambassadors of the European Union in Ukraine.

“The participants, in particular, discussed the creation of the first competition commission for holding a competition to select members of the High Qualification Commission of Judges and the first Ethics Council to check the virtue of candidates for the positions of members of the Verkhovna Rada,” reads the report.

Kostin thanked international partners and the Council of Judges of Ukraine (CJU) for nominating candidates to the competition commission for the selection of members of the High Qualification Commission of Judges (HQCJ) and said he hopes that it will start working soon. At the same time, he recalled that on September 13, the Council of Judges was unable to delegate its representatives to the Ethics Council, which is why “its staffing is being delayed.”

Chairman of the Supreme Court Valentyna Danishevska said that "although the Council of Judges did not select representatives to the Ethics Council at the first try, it did not violate the law by doing so, and the Council will continue the voting until they select these persons."

Monich assured that "the Council of Judges of Ukraine is determined to implement this law, and we will do it." The Council of Judges will continue the work on delegating candidates to the Ethics Council. At the same time, Monich recalled that the Council of Judges has prepared proposals to improve the procedure for selecting members of the Ethics Council.

For his part, Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Kyiv Nicolas Harrocks said that Ukraine now has high-quality legislation to clean up and restart the High Council of Justice, and it needs to be implemented.

Head of the EU Delegation Matti Maasikas said that judicial reform is not only an internal issue for Ukraine, its successful implementation directly determines the foreign policy image of the country and the attraction of international assistance and investment.

All participants in the meeting, except for representatives of the judiciary, who are limited in their status, agreed on a joint statement.

In particular, the joint statement says that the successful implementation of the judicial reform initiated by the President is crucial for the future of the country.

Participants in the meeting also welcome the steps that have been taken by international partners and the judicial self-government body to implement the requirements of the Law of Ukraine "On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine On the Judicial System and the Status of Judges and some laws of Ukraine regarding the resumption of the work of the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine" (No. 1629-IX), namely: delegation of candidates to the competition commission for holding a competition to select members of the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine;

In addition, they highly appreciate the professional level of experts nominated by international organizations for the first composition of the Ethics Council, the activities of which are provided for by the Law of Ukraine "On amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine concerning the procedure for selection (appointment) to the positions of members of the High Council of Justice and the activities of disciplinary inspectors of the High Council of Justice" (No. 1635-IX).

At the same time, they said they are concerned that the Council of Judges of Ukraine did not take comprehensive measures within thirty days to properly implement the requirements of Law No. 1635-IX to delegate candidates from among judges or retired judges to the Ethics Council, thereby postponing its creation for an indefinite period.

The participants insist on the early completion of the creation of the Ethics Council and the competition commission for holding a competition to select members of the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine and the commencement of their work.

They also strongly reject any attempt to jeopardize the implementation of Ukraine's vital reform aimed at strengthening the rule of law, increasing public confidence in the judiciary, attracting foreign investment and bringing Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic future closer.

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