In a move aimed at meeting criteria set by the European Commission for Ukraine’s path to EU membership, the Verkhovna Rada has voted to revamp Constitutional Court judge selection in a new bill’s second reading, Ukrainian lawmaker Yaroslav Zheleznyak reported via Telegram. New procedures involving international expert input would strengthen anti-corruption measures, increase transparency and reform the judiciary, all critical concerns for integration of Ukraine into the Union.
“[Bill No. 9322] is a crucial European integration initiative. It implements the first recommendation of the European Commission for Ukraine’s membership in the EU,” Zheleznyak wrote.
The bill introduces significant changes to the procedure for selecting judges of the Constitutional Court and won support of 293 lawmakers voting in favor of its adoption.
The bill provides a measure that strengthens the role of international experts in the selection process. In cases where the Advisory Group of Experts is deadlocked due to tie votes “for” and “against” a candidate, a second vote will be held.
If the deadlock persists during the repeat vote, the decisive votes will belong to three members of the Advisory Group, of which at least two must be nominated by international organizations or the European Commission “For Democracy through Law.”
The bill’s journey to adoption has been a subject of keen interest. Initially, it passed the first reading on June 12, following an assessment from the Venice Commission, which evaluated the draft law on June 10.
While the Venice Commission expressed regret that its recommendation to include a seventh member in the Advisory Group of Experts was not incorporated, it acknowledged the “significant improvements” made in response to its key recommendations.
The reform of the Constitutional Court judge selection system holds immense significance as it represents one of the seven crucial criteria set by the European Commission for Ukraine’s further integration with the EU.
The G7 countries’ ambassadors had earlier presented key recommendations for Ukraine, emphasizing the importance of strengthening anti-corruption institutions and reforming the judicial system.
Of particular interest was the call for the introduction of legislation to ensure the transparent and meritocratic selection of judges for the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.
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