Zelensky brings ambassadors and judges together on reform

14 September 2021

President Volodymyr Zelensky is calling the ambassadors of the G7 countries, judges, and MPs for a meeting on Sept. 16. The meeting will include the Chairman of the Council of Judges, president.gov.ua announced on Sept. 13. The meeting will focus on the failure of the Council of Judges to elect three judges to be members of the Ethics Council.

 

The announcement includes a statement from Zelensky that the failure of the Council of Judges was essentially derailing his promised reform process “...due to the suspension of the most important part - the cleaning of the judicial system.”

 

The Ethics Council is an entity that should check whether all candidates and members of the High Council of Justice, the highest body in the judiciary branch of power, correspond to criteria for professional ethics and integrity.

 

James Hydzik: At first glance, calling in the ambassadors of the G7 countries makes it look as if Zelensky can’t do the job on his own. However, there is the issue of the three other members of the Ethics Council, who are nominated by Ukraine’s allies and selected by the government. In this light, having the G7 countries’ ambassadors present might be the most efficient way of bringing that contingent into one place. Will the judges present at the meeting care about any of this? With the presidential administration, Verkhovna Rada and foreign representatives all pressuring them to act, the judges might have to care by the time the meeting’s done.

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