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Yanukovych proposes to deprive parliament of power to appoint judges

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Oct. 5, 2012, 4:25 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Judges read the verdict on Ukraine's former Prime Ministert Yulia Tymoshenko's appeal at Ukraine's High Specialized Court on Civil and Criminal Cases in Kiev, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012.
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Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has initiated the introduction of amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine, in the "Justice" section, according to which the power to appoint judges will be passed from the Verkhovna Rada to the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine.

As head of the main office for the judiciary at the presidential administration, Andriy Portnov, reported during a court forum of the Bar Association, the corresponding proposal of the president will be submitted to the Constitutional Assembly in the near future.

"The amendments foresee the complete removal of the parliament and other political bodies from the process of appointing judges. We'll also propose the cancellation of the five-term limit on the work of a judge for a first appointment. The permanent appointment of judges, for life, is proposed. Only the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine will take such a decision. The Ukrainian president will only sign an act, which is just of a ceremonial character, as he will have no basis to reject a judicial appointment," Portnov said.

Moreover, according to him, the parliament is to be removed from the process of the possible criminal prosecution of a judge.

The existing power of parliament to coordinate the criminal prosecution of a judge is to be transferred to the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine and the Supreme Council of Justice.

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