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Constitutional Court delays swearing in judges appointed by Zelensky

November 30, 2021 6:44 amby Oleg Sukhov

The court’s Nov. 30 decision may alleviate concerns by judicial watchdogs and Western experts about the court’s legitimacy. But President Volodymyr Zelensky said he’s concerned by the delay and sees it as an attempt to promote discredited judges’ interests.

The Constitutional Court has been in crisis for over a year. In late 2020, it reversed several key anti-corruption reforms, which led to an ongoing standoff between the court’s leadership and Zelensky.

The Constitutional Court said that Oksana Hryshchuk and Oleksandr Petryshyn, who were appointed by Zelensky on Nov. 26, cannot take office now because there are no vacant spots in the court. Spots will open up when the terms of the chairman Oleksandr Tupytsky and judge Oleksandr Kasminin expire in 2022, the court said.

Zelensky considers these spots vacant: He issued a decree to fire Tupytsky and Kasminin in March and sought to replace them with Hryshchuk and Petryshyn, which watchdogs have called a violation. In July the Supreme Court ruled that the dismissal was unlawful.

Oleg Sukhov
Author: Oleg Sukhov

Oleg Sukhov is a political reporter at the Kyiv Independent. He is a former editor and reporter at the Moscow Times. He has a master's degree in history from the Moscow State University. He moved to Ukraine in 2014 due to the crackdown on independent media in Russia and covered war, corruption, reforms and law enforcement for the Kyiv Post.

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