All lawyers now have a unique chance to become part of the Anticorruption Court

1.10.2018 |
The Anticorruption Court is being formed in Ukraine for the first time. Its composition will depend not only on the rapid career or the length of service of judges, but also on the public and open competition – that HQCJ announced in the presence of the media on August 8 – for judges, lawyers, and legal scholars.

This is what Chairman of the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine Sergii Koziakov said in his column on UP.

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The legislator has decided that judges of the highest courts of Ukraine can be not only judges who work for their career, but also lawyers and scholars.

Due to the last two categories, competition has increased significantly.

That is, a reputed professor, a successful lawyer, or a respected judge from your city have the opportunity to submit documents, take part in the competition, and become judges of one of the important judicial bodies in Ukraine.

And they have already filed their statements of intent. The Supreme Court received 842 statements of intent, including 19% – from lawyers, 16% – from scholars, 10% – from candidates with mixed legal background, and 55% – from judges.

There are 782 applications to the High Court of Anti-Corruption with 37% of judges, 41% of lawyers, 14% of scholars, and 8% of candidates with various professional backgrounds.

Such a competition turned out to be a success story back in 2016, when 1436 Ukrainian lawyers submitted their applications to 120 vacant positions in the Supreme Court. The Commission was overwhelmed by so many people willing to try, and we thank all those who dared for their participation and trust.

Personally, I am not a judge and never was a judge. I am a lawyer and a scholar, I still hold classes and work with students.

However, it so happened that I also work with Ukrainian judicial corps. It is important to me to renovate the judicial court and to fill with new decent personnel.

Why is it so important to get different legal professionals work together?

Now, we are witnessing with you the qualitatively new work of the new Supreme Court. The cooperation among experienced judges, scholars with their experience in the research field, and lawyers who used to be on the other side of the court proceedings, brings in new quality to court decisions that become case law.

I would like to specially focus on the explanations of judgments given by the Supreme Court. If the judge does not do this, then this is not a judge of the 21st century.

What was I?

Dear lawyers, scholars, and judges! The HQCJ has recently announced a competition to fill 39 vacant positions in the High Anti-Corruption Court for and 78 vacant positions in the Supreme Court.

The commission wants the best of the best to be selected to these institutions. If you have the necessary experience and feel like you are able – apply for the contests.

If you will not change the judicial system today, then who will and when?

Few tips at the stage of submission of documents

I wish success and self-confidence to all candidates. However, first of all, I recommend that everyone see the terms of the competitions that are posted on our site, because every little thing matters.

We will also shortly provide additional clarifications regarding the document submission.

To candidates who aim at the Supreme Court, I would suggest to read the interviews of acting SC justices who have succeeded the contest. One can find everything there: starting from the internal question whether to participate or not” and family support up to some constructive evaluation of the competition procedures.

While reading those interviews, I discovered a lot of new points. Therefore, I especially thank the media for their interest and objective coverage.

If any of you has decided to submit documents for the competition to the High Anti-corruption Court – my congratulations to you! You are the pioneers on the way to a new judicial institution.

There are already three audacious candidates. We will all work to justify the trust of the civil society.

I do hope that this court will become an example not only for Ukraine, but also for other countries. We have all chances to achieve this.

In the meantime, I recommend to candidates to get acquainted with reports on the activities of these judges in other states: how their work influenced the country in general and the judiciary in particular, and how the cases are handled.

Few words about publicity and the creation of PCIE

The Commission thanks NGOs and media representatives for their attention to the procedures we are conducting. We are always ready to cooperate.

I think that now it will not be exaggeration to focus on the formation of the Public Council of International Experts – organization that will assist the Commission in identifying the best candidates over the competition.

International organizations are supposed to suggest to the HQCJ candidates to the PCIE – two people from each organization.

We want the best candidates to form highly professional and competent composition of the Council to perform the functions entrusted to them by law.

I want to draw attention to the fact that this is a responsibility of international organizations. There is no doubt that the organizations will perform their work professionally, and we will be able to choose the best from among them, so that they could help the Commission to effectively hold the competition.

All in all, let me underline that we are creating a new High Anti-Corruption Court, not another law enforcement agency or a branch of the law enforcement system.

We are creating an independent and self-sufficient body that should be an effective arbitrator between the parties through the work of the judges of a new kind.

In this sense, it is important that other participants to the trial – prosecutors and lawyers – are well trained and prepared to participate in the proceedings, because a fair judgment depends on their professionalism and integrity.

And do not forget that a new court was first established in 2017 on the basis of an open and public contest – I am talking about the Supreme Court. It is the Supreme Court that is the cassation instance in all cases, including anti-corruption ones.

The second contest to the Supreme Court means that we are awaiting for new forces that will be able to support the efforts of courageous lawyers who have undertaken an important task – to build up a new quality of justice.

So now there is a unique chance for all lawyers to become part of the country’s highest judicial institution or anticorruption court.