The European Union views the adoption of legislation to create a High Anti-Corruption Court in Ukraine as a positive event that meets its international obligations and the interests of Ukrainian citizens and enterprises, the official spokesperson of the European External Action Service has said. “Ukraine’s adoption of the legislation with a view to establishing a High Anti-Corruption Court is a positive development in accordance with its international obligations and to the benefit of Ukrainian citizens and businesses. The establishment marks a significant step in the crucial fight against corruption in Ukraine which is a key component of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and follows the commitments taken by Ukraine during the EU-Ukraine Summit in Brussels on July 9,” a report on the agency’s website reads.
“Once established, the High Anti-Corruption Court will complete the chain of independent anti-corruption institutions that also includes the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office. The EU underlines the need for all anti-corruption institutions to be fully independent and carry out their tasks free from undue influence. To this end, it is important that the integrity and credibility of the Office of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor and its leadership are upheld and reinforced,” it says. “We look forward to the court being fully operational before the end of the year as this is the intention of the authorities. What counts now, what will support the country and its people to fight against corruption will be the full implementation of this act. The European Union stands ready to support the process,” the document states.
Verkhovna Rada Chairman Andriy Parubiy has signed the law on the High Anti-Corruption Court, passed by the parliament on June 7. “I want to take an opportunity to solemnly sign this law in your presence,” he said at a joint press conference with Speakers of the parliaments of Georgia, Irakli Kobakhidze, and Moldova, Andrian Candu, in Kyiv on Saturday. As reported, on June 7, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, approved at second reading and as a whole presidential bill (No. 7440) on the High Anti-Corruption Court.
Some clauses of this bill were changed before second reading as a result of consultations with the IMF. The most controversial clause concerned the decisive role of the public council of international experts in the selection of judges.
The law determines the procedure for holding a competition for the selection of anti-corruption judges.
According to the wording of the bill at the second reading, criminal proceedings against corruption crimes provided for in the commentary of Article 45 (1) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, Article 206 (2), 209, 366 (1) of the Criminal Code will be subjected to the High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC).
The law enters into force on the day after its publication, with the exception of certain provisions that come into force with the commencement of the work of the High Anti-Corruption Court.
President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio has called the adoption by the Ukrainian parliament of the law “On the High Anti-Corruption Court” a testament to Ukraine’s intention to continue the path of reforms and European integration.
“It is with great satisfaction – I would even say with great joy – that I learnt of today’s decision by the Verkhovna Rada to adopt the law on the High Anti-Corruption Court. According to the reports the law as adopted is in line with the recommendations of the Venice Commission,” the Commission chief said in his statement posted on the Commission’s website on Thursday.
The official congratulated the Ukrainian MPs on the vote and thanked all those who contributed to the adoption of the law.
“This is an important step forward for Ukraine and for Europe, most of all for the citizens of Ukraine who have suffered for too long from the evils of corruption. Today’s vote shows that Ukraine is determined to continue on the path of reform and European integration,” said the VC chief.
He also urged all those involved to ensure the rapid formation of the court and to provide it with appropriate means for functioning.
As reported earlier, the Verkhovna Rada passed presidential draft law “On the High Anti-Corruption Court” (No. 7440) at the second reading.
The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, has approved at second reading and as a whole the presidential bill (No. 7440) on the High Anti-Corruption Court. According to an Interfax-Ukraine reporter, 315 MPs voted for such a decision at a plenary session of parliament on Thursday. In particular, the decision was supported by 123 MPs from the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko, 70 from the People’s Front, 22 from Samopomich, 14 from Batkivschyna, and two votes each from the Opposition Bloc and Oleh Liashko’s Radical Party. The Will of the People and Vidrodzhennia groups gave 18 and 21 votes in favor of the bill, respectively.
Some clauses of this bill were changed before second reading as a result of consultations with the IMF. The most controversial clause concerned the decisive role of the public council of international experts in the selection of judges. The law determines the procedure for holding a competition for the selection of anti-corruption judges.