“The only achievement of the contest to the new Supreme Court is the work of the Public Council of Virtue” – Syroyid

Oksana Syroyid, Vice Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, believes that the judicial reform in Ukraine will take generations to be completed. According to her, people with a different system of values should be born and educated, while future quality judges should be trained in high-quality law schools, which are not yet available in Ukraine.

In the opinion of Oksana Syroyid, today, having the results of the competition for judges in the Supreme Court of Ukraine published by the Qualification Commission, it looks like it is only the Public Council of Virtue that offers hope for the legitimacy of the next steps of the judicial reform.

“Having the High Qualification Commission consisting of old judges, and the same Supreme Council of Justice, we realized that we could hardly expect an honest renewal of the Supreme Court. In the end, most of the names we saw were the old names; this is not an updated Court by any means. And the new one will have to work hard to prove to people that they are really new.

The Public Council of Virtue is a unique phenomenon that was invented for Ukrainian needs, because we had no trust in state institutions from the very beginning. But for the Council we would not know anything about the competition today – who would follow all the processes after all?

Lawyers, journalists, public representatives devoted six months of their lives to scrutinizing the entire process of the contest and each of the candidates: their way of life, trips, and the like.

They were public, acted on the basis of strict criteria; and although a large number of their conclusions remained unsatisfactory, there are still some results: it is true that it was possible to remove many judges from this process due to the activities Public Council of Virtue,” says the Vice Speaker.

Oksana Syroyid is convinced that the hard work of the Public Council of Virtue, collection of all these facts about judges is the main proof of why the country needs the next steps, why this is not the end of the reform, but only the beginning.

At the same time, she draws attention to the fact that the competition was completed only with regard to the selection of judges, but the appointment has not yet taken place. Therefore, in her view, the President’s statements about the success of the competition and the lack of pressure on his part onto this process are a pressure in fact; since politicians must not comment on interim solutions. “As a matter of fact, this is pressure, because the assessment is given for what has not yet come to an end. The President is a party to the appointment, because he will sign the orders. Such statements smack of the monarch’s absolutism – everything comes from me: citizenship comes from me, judges come from me, laws come from me, and the sun rises with me. This is a direct sign of non-democracy and an undemocratic process. Unfortunately, the further we go, the more we see it.”

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