The Law of Ukraine

On the High Council of Justice of Ukraine

Date of Entry into Force:
February 17, 1998

The Law of Ukraine “On the High Council of Justice of Ukraine” (hereinafter refer to as “the Law”) defines that the High Council of Justice is a collective, independent body responsible for forming of highly professional corps of judges, capable of qualified, honest and unprejudiced professional administration of justice, as well as for adoption of decisions regarding violations by judges and prosecutors of requirements regarding incompatibility and within their competence regarding disciplinary responsibility of the latter. Status of the High Council of Justice is defined by the Constitution of Ukraine and the present Law. Members of the High Council of Justice, with the exception of those incorporated by their position, shall perform their authorities during six years. The High Council of Justice of Ukraine is a legal entity. Expenses for its maintenance shall be determined separately in the State Budget of Ukraine.

The High Council of Justice shall:
- forward submissions as to the designation of judges to the office or on their dismissal from the office;
- consider cases and adopt decisions as regards to the violation by judges and prosecutors s of the requirements concerning incompatibility;
- exercise disciplinary procedure as regards to judges of the Supreme Court of Ukraine and judges of high specialized courts;
- consider complaints regarding decisions on bringing to disciplinary responsibility judges of courts of appeal and local courts, as well as prosecutors.

Pursuant to the Constitution, the High Council of Justice consists of twenty members. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the President of Ukraine, the Congress of Judges of Ukraine, the Congress of Advocates of Ukraine, and the Congress of Representatives of Higher Legal Educational Establishments and Scientific Institutions shall appoint three members to the High Council of Justice, and the All-Ukrainian Conference of Employees of the General Prosecutor's Office - two members of the High Council of Justice. The Chairman of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, the Minister of Justice of Ukraine and the General Prosecutor of Ukraine are ex officio members of the High Council of Justice.

Member of the High Council of Justice of Ukraine may be the citizen of Ukraine, not under thirty five years and not over sixty five, who resides in Ukraine not less than the last ten years, speaks official language, has higher legal education and record of service in the field of law not less than ten years. The persons recognized by court as incapable or those with limited capability, as well as the persons who have unspent conviction shall not be members of the High Council of Justice of Ukraine.

Member of the High Council of Justice shall be designated by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by secret ballot by submission of ballots. Proposals regarding nominees for the posts of members the High Council of Justice shall be made by deputy groups and factions. The candidate shall be considered designated for the post of member of the High Council of Justice, if s/he obtained majority of votes from the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by the results of secret ballot. The President of Ukraine shall issue Decree on designation of members of the High Council of Justice. Candidates for the posts of members of the High Council of Justice shall be nominated by the Congress of Judges of Ukraine upon proposals of delegates of the Congress by open ballot by the majority of votes of the persons present and shall be included into the bulletin for adoption decision by the Congress of Judges of Ukraine by secret ballot as regards to each candidate. The candidate shall be considered designated for the post of member of the High Council of Justice, if s/he obtained majority of votes from the total quantity of elected delegates of the Congress of Judges of Ukraine by the results of secret voting. If the quantity of candidates exceeds designation quota for the posts of members of the High Council of Justice, the candidates shall be deemed designated, if they obtained majority of votes as regards to other candidates. The Law also defines the Procedure of designation of members of the High Council of Justice by the Congress of Advocates of Ukraine, the Congress of Representatives of Higher Legal Educational Establishments and Scientific Institutions and All-Ukrainian Conference of Office of Public Prosecutor's Personnel.

The High Council of Justice shall be plenipotentiary, if not less than three fourths of is constitutional staff were designated and took the oath, taking into account the persons who hold office in the High Council of Justice. The first session of the High Council of Justice shall be convoked a week after all its members take the oath.

Authorities of member of the High Council of Justice shall be terminated in case of:
- sentence of court as regards to him/her has come into force;
- s/he lost the citizenship of Ukraine;
- s/he submitted application for termination of authorities;
- dismissal from the post due to occupation of which s/he composes the High Council of Justice;
- his/her death, other.

Chapter three is devoted to organization of work of the High Council of Justice. So, it determines the structure of the High Council of Justice, authorities of its head, the procedure of holding sessions, acts of the High Council of Justice and responsibility for their non-fulfillment.

Chapter four is devoted to solution by the High Council of Justice of issues which are under its competence:
- participation in forming of corps of judges;
- consideration of issues on dismissal of judges;
- settlement of issues related to violation of requirements of legislation on incompatibility;
- disciplinary procedure as regards to judges of the Supreme Court of Ukraine and judges of high specialized courts;
- consideration of complaints regarding decisions on bringing to disciplinary responsibility judges and prosecutors.

Organizational, informational reference and other provision of activity of the High Council of Justice shall be performed by the Secretariat. Provisions on Secretariat of the High Council of Justice, its structure and staff shall be approved by the High Council of Justice. The Head and other officials of the Secretariat of the High Council of Justice are public servants.
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