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Venice Commission: Ukraine's proposed constitutional court selection procedure is better but could use more improvement

by The Kyiv Independent news desk June 10, 2023 9:05 PM 1 min read
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The Venice Commission, a European advisory body, released an opinion giving mixed but optimistic marks to Ukraine's draft law that changes how Constitutional Court judges are chosen.

The Venice Commission regretted that its key suggestion to add a deadlock-breaking seventh member to the six-person expert group was not followed.

This expert group will be involved in the judge selection.

It also recommended taking out language that ties the candidates' ranked order from the order in which the Congress of Judges votes on them. However, it praised "significant improvements" that followed its earlier suggestions.

For example, experts will judge every candidate's integrity and competence and provide these assessments to the appointing body.

If a candidate is deemed unsuitable due to integrity and competence issues, that candidate is excluded from further consideration.

In the latest draft, international experts are given a deciding vote on judging a justice candidate's integrity and competence, which the Venice Commission praised as well.

Ukraine's Constitutional Court has long been a controversial body, which has struck down multiple important anti-corruption reforms, a number of which were later brought back.

President Volodymyr Zelensky suspended and removed the court's chairman in 2021, calling his tenure a threat to Ukraine's national security.

Experts: Parliament derails Ukraine’s European integration by passing Constitutional Court bill.
The Verkhovna Rada on Dec. 13 approved a bill on the Constitutional Court that may deal a blow to Ukraine’s European integration prospects and allow the president to fully control the court, legal experts say. “By voting for this bill, you are not only disrupting European integration but also enabl…

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