Anti-corruption court: the draft law already in Parliament, but opinions on the necessity of the authority was divided

The head of delegation of the European Union to Ukraine Hugh Mingarelli said about necessity of creation in Ukraine of specialized anti-corruption courts. Earlier in the light of the case dismissed the head of the SFS of the Roman Nasirov, suspected of corruption, the importance of such a body was also expressed by the representatives of the United States. A bill to create an anti-corruption court is already registered in the Ukrainian Parliament. “Today” figured out how to deal with such a court, and why opinions on its appropriateness divided.

That is incorporated in the draft law

The establishment of the Higher anti-corruption court under the Law of Ukraine “On judicial system and status of judges”, adopted on 2 June 2016. A draft law that will create such a court, registered in the Verkhovna Rada on 1 February 2017. It is envisaged that the anti-corruption court is to administer justice as a court of first instance in cases under investigation by the National anti-corruption Bureau (NAB).

The draft law on anti-corruption courts was tabled in Parliament on 1 February 2017. Photo:

According to one of the authors of the bill people’s Deputy from “Samopomich” Yegor Sobolev, 70 judges of this court will have the right to give permission on the wire suspension and arrest of top officials, as well as to make them sentences.

“More of the 30 judges it is proposed to establish a special chamber in the Supreme court – as the court of appeals. All anti-corruption judges should be set high wages and provided security,” – said Sobolev.

Infografika: “Center of counteraction of corruption”

According to the MP, the authors of the project expect to attract to the selection of judges, representatives of the EU, the US and the UKto choose the most professional and principled professionals.

Another objective of the anti-corruption court will have the analysis of judicial statistics and the collection and summarizing of judicial practice.

According to the head of NABOO Artem Sytnik, to create an anti-corruption court before the end of 2017. As stated by the head of NABOO, 50 judges of first instance to work in the anti-corruption court can be selected before the end of the year, “the only thing I need is the law.”

Opinions were divided

The study showed Transparency international, “global corruption Barometer”, conducted in 2016, for Ukraine the problem of corruption remains in the top three most relevant – so said 56% of respondents. According to the organization, 61% of Ukrainians believe that judges are the most corrupt, along with civil servants, parliamentarians and employees of tax sphere. As the Executive Director of Transparency International Ukraine Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, information about corruption-related crimes was available to the General public through the establishment of anti-corruption institutions and the introduction of new tools to prevent corruption.

“Corruption is now increasingly difficult to hide. That is why the impression that corruption in society has increased. At the same time, reports of convictions of corrupt officials to deprivation of little faith. Usually, the only consequence of corruption for the bureaucrat is the public condemnation and damaged reputation, says yurchishin, therefore, it is necessary to create an anti-corruption court which will consider cases of corrupt officials. Because of the absence in Ukraine of such a body of anti-corruption reform is not progressing as corrupt, despite all the efforts made by the state and the public, remain unpunished”.

However, representatives of the Ukrainian judicial system believe otherwise. So, the head of the Supreme court of Ukraine Yaroslav Romaniuk said that the anti-corruption court, in the case of its creation, will become an unnecessary link in the judicial system.

“The judicial system must be transparent and clear… In our view, this extra link (anti-corruption court. – Ed.)”,- he said. “I think that is the wrong way to handle specific categories of cases to create special courts…Need this just yet. The judicial system is quite extensive, it is able to ensure consideration of all categories of cases. Another thing – it is necessary to equip the system”,- summed Romaniuk. He reminded that today the courts of first instance 35% are not completed, and the number of petitions and cases increased.

Moreover, the High Council of justice in the Advisory conclusion stated that the draft law “On anti-corruption courts,” contrary to the Constitution of Ukraine and is not consistent with other laws, so taking it to Parliament the Council is not recommended. However, this conclusion already argue activists. So, the head of the “center of counteraction of corruption” Vitaly Shabunin argues that, in particular, the issue of appointment of judges of the Anticorruption court is not contrary to the Constitution of Ukraine, as the proposed law provides for competition on the post of anti-corruption judges. The final list of participants must approve first by the Highest qualification Commission of judges of Ukraine, then the High Council of justice and then the President of Ukraine, unconstitutional. Moreover, according to Shabunina, this selection procedure does not violate the constitutional principle of the uniform status of judges (due to its differences from similar procedures), because the draft law on anti-corruption courts provides that the judges will be selected according to the procedure for evaluation of the qualification, as provided by law.

“The only feature of the selection procedure of anti-corruption judges – the introduction of an additional filter in the form of a special competition Commission, which will conduct interviews with candidates. She will be for the High qualifications Commission of judges of a list of candidates,” he said.

At the same time, he said, the current law provides different procedures for the selection of judges of the Supreme court and judges of local and appellate courts.

Notes said that the participation of foreigners in the selection of judges is also not contrary to the Constitution of Ukraine. “The role of foreigners in the selection of anti-corruption judges is limited by the fact that he recommended the third composition of the Commission, which then claimed two authorities and the President of Ukraine”, – he said.

Moreover, according to Shabunina, the Law of Ukraine “On judicial system and status of judges” already provides for the establishment of a Higher anti-corruption court as a specialized court, which also contradicts the Constitution of Ukraine.

“The draft law on anti-corruption courts does not offer the creation of any other courts, except the Supreme anti-corruption, which is already provided for in the law on the judicial system. As the appellate instance for cases of top-of corruption, the bill only provides for the establishment of the chamber of Cassation criminal court of the Supreme court,” he says.

The creation of anti-corruption courts support the Western partners of Ukraine – expert

The need to create specialized courts that would deal with only corruption cases, driven by expectations that such cases will be more after the establishment of specialized anti-corruption bodies. Comments about this “Today,” political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko.

“In order to avoid a situation of delay, red tape or different kinds of games that we, in particular, seen in the Solomensky court (meaning the meeting on election of a preventive measure suspended the head of the SFS Novel Nasirova – Ed.) it is desirable that a specialized anti-corruption court, which would deal with only corruption cases”, – said Fesenko.

The second reason is the need to create a new court, which would not be “old” judges who can suspect of corruption or political bias. The expert notes that this is a fundamentally important aspect of trust in the courts. Will it be possible to create a court based on such principles is an open question, because there is a risk that the new instance will not differ from existing but name, he says.

Fesenko notes that this logic come from opponents of the creation of anti-corruption courts. Their second argument – that for such instances takes time, so let the corruption cases do the existing courts.

“In my opinion, the reluctance to create an anti-corruption courts largely due to the fact that there is concern among many politicians, and not only the politicians that the courts will be too unmanageable. Result argument, which is usually not given by the opponents of the anti-corruption courts is the fear that the anti-corruption courts can be influenced by the opposition”, – said Fesenko. At the same time, the expert notes that these concerns are far-fetched, though, unofficially, they are.

However, according to the expert, this kind of authority to create a will need, primarily because this idea is supported by international partners of Ukraine.

“For Ukrainian politics is important that the idea of anti-corruption courts support of our Western partners, it increasingly appears in obligations to Ukraine, – said Fesenko, – That is, one way or another history will repeat with NABOO, with electronic declarations. Also there was resistance, too, did not like these ideas, but in the end, I had to do it. So here – have still to adopt a law on anti-corruption courts, because this idea is supported not only in the EU, support the Americans and the IMF,” – he said.

According to the analyst, the politicians and government officials, who are now opposed to the creation of such courts, to commit the political error – instead of having to lead the process, they create problems, thereby causing suspicions in the address.

Therefore, if there is political will to take the necessary draft law in a few weeks. However, this will not, and there are disagreements among the different factions in Parliament.