UBA Proposals on the High Council of Justice Act

2016-09-27

KYIV – 27 September 2016. The Ukrainian Bar Association (UBA) appealed to the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Policy and Justice with a request to reconsider the Draft Law of Ukraine “On the High Council of Justice”, which was been recently registered at the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Ukrainian Bar Association as the leading legal community took an active part in the elaboration and discussion of the Draft Law of Ukraine “On the High Council of Justice”.

Among the UBA proposals which have been already accounted by the Council on Judicial Reform, a body in charge of drafting the new Draft Law were as follows:

- Fixing reasonable time frames of disciplinary proceedings (Paragraph 3, Article 42);

- Securing the rights of judges to submit evidence during disciplinary proceedings (Paragraph 8, Article 49);

- On election of Council members from the Bar:  advocates elected to the Council shall terminate participation in the legal profession, not postpone it (Paragraph 10 Article 6);

- Order for holding a congress of advocates shall be determined by the Law of Ukraine “On the Bar and Advocacy” instead of Council of Advocates of Ukraine (Paragraph 5, Article 11).

Ukrainian Bar Association believes that some of the provisions of the Draft Law are still in need of improvement, given the realities of today. In this regard the UBA appealed to the Verkhovna Rada Committee to consider and include the proposals to the agenda of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Policy and Justice meeting.

Among these proposals:

- The right of a member of the disciplinary chamber to express a dissenting opinion in the decision and its respective publication along with the text of the decision;

The public should be aware of the existence of dissenting opinions. In addition, such opinion will be the indisputable basis for the complainant to appellate against the decision to the Disciplinary Chamber of GRP.

- The right of a judge/complainant to receive information about the disciplinary proceedings.

Absence of the right to review records of the case by a judge and the complainant prevents adequate protection for judges and/or proof of guilt by the applicant.

Ukrainian Bar Association believes that incorporating these changes will increase the efficiency of judiciary and promotes fair justice in the country.

Proposals to the Law of Ukraine “On the High Council of Justice” has been developed by the experts of the UBA Project “The Effectiveness of the Disciplinary Organs in the System of Justice”, which is supported by the EU project “Support for Justice Reforms in Ukraine”.

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