Judges of the High Anticorruption Court are appointed

On April 11, the President signed the decree on appointment of 38 judges to the High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC).

The Anti-Corruption Court should start its work before the beginning of summer. All cases regarding top corrupt officials will be transferred to it, even if they are already considered in ordinary courts.

In general, international experts cleaned the list of candidates to the court by 40% in the process of competition, having vetoed candidates with unjustified assets and/or questionable decisions. Opposed to that, the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine not only secured judicial positions for judges with unjustified assets, but also promoted judges who participated in political persecutions to position in the Supreme Court.

However, selection shall not be seen as a final guarantee for independence of anticorruption judges, as their future work will be subject to pressure and prone to corruption risks. The High Council of Justice is crucial for safeguarding proper functioning of HACC, as this body is responsible for disciplinary actions against judges and initiates their dismissal if judicial misconducts are identified. Today, the High Council of Justice has already failed to cope with this task. In particular, they kept positions to more than 80% of judges who persecuted Maidan activists. 

Other important issue for HACC is appointing independent and professional chief of staff. Presently former prosecutor of the Prosecutor General’s Office Oleksiy Zhukov is appointed as an interim chief. He is associated with the deputy head of the State Bureau of Investigations Olga Varchenko.

Competition for permanent chief of staff was opened on April 10 and applications are accepted by April 25. As of April 12, only one application has been submitted.