Judiciary reform: Candidates to local courts to pass a test on moral and psychological qualities


According to new requirements, judges-candidates to local courts will have to pass a test on moral and psychological qualities as a part of the qualification assessment. “The test is to provide an expert support and reduce the risk of arbitrary decisions in the selection process. It is a guarantee for the candidates that in addition to conclusion of the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine there will be additional expert conclusion for those fields where Commission’s members are not experts,” explained Dovidas Vitkauskas, Coordinator of the EU Project “Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine” at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

The test will evaluate candidates’ integrity, the inclination to malpractices, the persistence of professional motivation, emotional stability, discipline, stress resistance, psychological risks, etc. General abilities of a candidate will be evaluated as well. At the final stage of the test, candidates will have an interview with a psychologist. “Every methodology is precise to a limited extent. Sometimes there are cases when a candidate intentionally distorts information about himself. In such cases, as a result, it is impossible to make an interpretation of the final profile. An interview with the psychologists is to clarify the details if the profile is invalid,” explained Anastasiya Dyomina, Project manager at LLC “OS Ukraine”.

Results of the test will be presented in a summary with the figures reflecting the manifestation of evaluated qualities and the level of candidate’s compliance with an ideal profile (high, medium or low). “We take into account a normative profile, not only the measured qualities but also an optimal expression of every quality. Therefore, we will compare the level of compliance with an ideal profile which is optimal for every particular case,” Dyomina noted.

Candidates with a medium and high level of compliance will pass to the next stage of qualification assessment.

Psychologist’s final conclusion and test results summary will be used by the High Qualification Commission of Judges at the following interviews with candidates. The results of the psychological test will not be open for public use. “The results of the psychological test and test on general ability are classified by law, they cannot be made public. I think in the future we will manage to build a more profound public trust to the test, at least the psychological test, or we will make public a part of the results, the one which would allow checking the relevance of points given by the Commission to the results of psychological test,” explained Andriy Kozlov, Member of the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine.

“The process which started from the evaluation of candidates to the Supreme Court is surely unique, for its accuracy, volume, and technocracy. With reference to the experience we have got at present, positive and critical comments on this process, now we are trying to help the High Qualification Commission to introduce the psychological test as a basic and essential part of all competition and evaluation procedures,” Mr. Vitkauskas added.