The High Qualifications Commission (a permanent body in the judiciary system of Ukraine, responsible for the formation of the judiciary, the transfer of judges, ensuring their proper qualification level) agreed with 51 conclusions of the Public Integrity Council (independent body verifying information on candidates’ integrity and ethics). In total, the Council issued 140 opinions on candidates’ noncompliance with the criteria of integrity and professional ethics. Thirty judges, who received a negative opinion of the Public Integrity Council, still made it to the final list of candidates to the Supreme Court of Ukraine. “We do not know why our conclusions were not taken into account,” said Vitalii Tytych, representative of the Public Integrity Council, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. Taras Shepel, the representative of the Public Integrity Council, added that only 20% of the candidates in the final list are coming from outside the existing judicial system (they are academics, lawyers, and human rights activists).
“We do not see the rating rubric on each criterion, whether each member of the HQCJU voted according to the same criteria for each candidate,” noted Roman Maselko, representative of the Public Integrity Council. “If the public body holds it against each fourth candidate to the Supreme Court, we seem to have failed in the task of cleansing the Supreme Court,” added Mr. Maselko.
The competition has not been completed yet. “The stage that is starting now is fundamental to us,” emphasized Roman Maselko. The negative opinion of the Public Council of Integrity is the basis for the Supreme Council of Justice not to admit a candidate to the Supreme Court.
The competition began in November 2016. Lawyers and academics were also able to participate in it.