The leadership of Ukraine confirms its clear position on the establishment of the Supreme Anticorruption Court and an independent anti-corruption judicial vertical in Ukraine in accordance with the Constitution and legislation of Ukraine, as well as to the European Council’s international standards.
Ukraine has already carried out a number of institutional reforms in the anticorruption sphere on the basis the Anti-Corruption Strategy for 2014-2017, including the creation of National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office and National Agency for Prevention of Corruption, as well as adoption of procedures of an open competition for the new Supreme Court, the process that is now well underway.
As a result of the NABU activity only in the first half of 2017, 371 criminal cases were opened, results of investigations on 78 criminal proceedings were sent to courts and more than 136 million UAH were returned to the state budget. In 2016/2017, the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, NABU, SBU and Ministry of Internal Affairs sent more than 5 000 corruption cases to courts. 433.6 million UАН, 79.8 million USD, 7.1 million EUR and property worth over 75.5 million USD are under arrest in anti-corruption investigations.
Without effective and transparent functioning of courts successful implementation of an anticorruption strategy is difficult. That is why Ukraine considers judicial reform to be an integral part of all anticorruption reform.
At the same time, anti-corruption judiciary should be institutionalized as a separate branch. The Ukrainian authorities remain committed to establishing in Ukraine a High Anti-corruption court, as envisaged by the Law on Judiciary and Status of Judges.
Other elements of specialized anticorruption judiciary should be an anti-corruption chamber in the Supreme Court of Ukraine as a cassation instance and regional anti-corruption courts, if so decided by the Ukrainian Parliament.
The President of Ukraine as initiator of the legislative provisions on an anti-corruption court in the Law on Judiciary and Status of Judges is ready to cooperate with all political groups in the Ukrainian Parliament to elaborate and adopt a comprehensive draft law to launch court’s activity, as recommended by the Venice Commission in its Opinion No 896/2017, adopted at its 112 Plenary session (6-7 October 2017).
It is an important message of support that the Venice Commission in the abovementioned Opinion welcomed the statements made by the President of Ukraine on the urgent need of creating an independent and efficient special anticorruption judicial body, and acknowledged that Ukraine had launched a comprehensive reform of the judiciary, as a “promising and commendable process”.
Funds to ensure establishment and functioning of an anti-corruption court have already been allocated in the draft State Budget for 2018.
An anti-corruption court should be formed on a competitive basis in full accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine and the international standards of the Council of Europe. Ukrainian civil society and expert community will be fully engaged in the process. The process of renewal of the Supreme Court of Ukraine presents a positive example in this regard.