The Council of Europe calls on the Verkhovna Rada not to rush with the dismissal of judges of the Constitutional Court
Ukraine was also urged to explore alternative ways to fight corruption and offered its assistance.
The Chairman of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio and the President of GRECO (Council of Europe Anti-Corruption Monitoring Authority) Marin Mrchela addressed the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on the draft law “On Restoration of Public Confidence in the Constitutional Judiciary” submitted by President Volodymyr Zelensky. The relevant letter is posted on the Council of Europe website.
“There can be no effective fight against corruption without an independent judiciary and respect for the rule of law. Ukraine’s efforts to fight corruption need to be continued and intensified in accordance with the Constitution and international obligations, “the document reads.
The authors recall that the termination of the powers of constitutional judges in this way is a gross violation of the Constitution and the basic principle of separation of powers.
“Violation of the Constitution, even if there is a clear reason for it, cannot lead to a culture of constitutionalism and respect for the rule of law,” the letter said.
The chairman of the Venice Commission and the president of GRECO called for exploring alternative ways to fight corruption.
“We urge you to take into account the adverse, profound and long-term consequences for your country in the event of a hasty decision to dismiss constitutional judges. We urge you to explore possible alternative ways to ensure the fight against corruption in accordance with international standards, “the letter reads.
It is also reported that GRECO will continue to monitor Ukraine’s compliance with international anti-corruption standards. The Venice Commission and the Council of Europe as a whole are ready to assist Ukraine in developing concrete solutions to the current situation.
It will be recalled that on October 28, 2020, the Constitutional Court published its decision adopted on October 27, declaring unconstitutional and repealing the provisions of the Law on Prevention of Corruption regarding electronic declaration, control and verification of these declarations, monitoring the way of life of declaring subjects. Agency for the Prevention of Corruption and its authorized persons and authorized units, liability for corruption or corruption-related offenses. Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, which established criminal liability for declaring unreliable information, was also declared unconstitutional.
The NAPC has closed the register of electronic declarations in pursuance of the decision of the Constitutional Court.
On October 29, after a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council convened by President Volodymyr Zelensky and an order of the Cabinet of Ministers, access to the register of electronic declarations was restored.
Vladimir Zelensky introduced to Parliament Bill, which proposes to terminate the powers of the Constitutional Court to accept his decision to declare null and void and one that does not have legal consequences, and cancel relevant amendments to the law “ On prevention of corruption.”