Activists: 90% of the “Euromaidan judges” are still in office

Over the last 2 years, 34 judges who took unlawful decisions regarding Euromaidan activists have been dismissed. This is 10% of the total number of complaints filed. Another 29 judges are waiting for the final decision. Such results of administration of complaints by the High Council of Justice (HCJ) were announced by Roman Maselko, lawyer, an activist at the NGO “AutoMaidan”, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “We are not certain that even those 34 judges who received a final decision on dismissal, will not return to their offices because the final point in the dismissal of a judge is the order of the presiding judge,” he said.

There is a total of 64 submissions for the dismissal of judges. Thirty-one judges were dismissed in 2016, only three in 2017. Appeals were filed on 90% of submissions, and there are no final decisions regarding most of them. The HCJ refused to open disciplinary proceedings against 204 judges. Proceedings were opened against 68 judges, but submissions for their dismissal were refused. Submissions for a temporary suspension were made regarding 5 judges.

“We are talking solely about repressive decisions against activists, when there is every reason to say that it was not an administration of justice because decisions were made in a non-procedural way, on the system level, and throughout Ukraine. […]. Such judges must be held criminally liable. The public urges the High Council of Justice to act as an arbiter who should ensure the purity of the judiciary rather than an advocate of the existing status quo. The presence of these judges in the judiciary makes it impossible to administer justice in the country,” stressed Tetiana Kozachenko, Chairman of the Public Council under the Lustration Department of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.

“If 90% of the judges who took unlawful decisions regarding Euromaidan participants are neither punished nor dismissed, this means that the authorities believe they did the right thing, that is, the Euromaidan participants were guilty and criminals. This gives reason to believe that if Euromaidan took place today, the judges would do the same,” emphasized Oleksandra Drik, Chairman at the NGO “Public Lustration Committee.” She noted that this negative trend is also observed during all attempts to change the judiciary in general. “It is critically important to follow what started immediately after Euromaidan to its logical end. If this is not done, it means returning to the situation in which Euromaidan started. We cannot let this happen,” emphasized Oleksandra Drik.