Why the IMF was shocked when they saw the President’s draft law on the Anti-Corruption Court

Everybody, but the President himself, was shocked when his version of the Anti-Corruption Court was presented

This bill, among other bills, faced harsh criticism of the International Monetary Fund. The letter sent to the head of the Presidential Administration justifies why this bill does not meet the obligations of Ukraine and the recommendations of the Venice Commission.

The main message is that in its present version the bill is not able to create an anti-corruption court that would earn credibility of both Ukrainian citizens and our international partners.

The IMF focused on three main points: the selection of judges, the cases that the court will consider, and the time of the beginning of its work. The letter clearly and unequivocally expresses the following position: the experts recommended by international organizations and donor states must play a decisive role in the selection process. The model proposed by the President envisaging consultative function of international experts will not work. In addition, the IMF disapproves the proposal of the bill to remove the Public Council of Virtue from the selection process.

There are also comments with regard to the range of cases that the Anti-Corruption Court will have to deal with, according to the bill. The stance on this issue is also unambiguous: the Anti-Corruption Court should only consider those cases that are investigated by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau. Unless these norms are changed, the court will be piled up with a bunch of small cases and will not be able to effectively perform its work.

The IMF notes that the bill lacks provisions that would allow prompt launching of the court’s work. On the contrary, some of its provisions artificially delay this process and postpone the beginning of the work of the court for several years.

Given the content of comments, it can be argued that the IMF’s demands are quite categorical: the bill should be revised and brought into line with our commitments and recommendations of the Venice Commission. It is obvious that this law will be crucial for the negotiations on a future tranche.

Olena Sotnyk
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