President of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) Gianni Buquicchio called for accelerating the reform of the judiciary in Ukraine, and also noted that the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) should be “safeguarded at any cost.”
“The judiciary reform must be comprehensive. The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe has been working on this reform in Ukraine for decades already, without real success,” Buquicchio said at the Democracy in Action: Zero Corruption Conference on Tuesday.
He stressed that the NABU must be safeguarded at any cost. “Because they have done a good job and they must continue to do their job,” the President of the Venice Commission said.
“Vetting the High Council of Justice and selecting new good members is a priority. The High Qualifications Commission is also a priority. But they two are interlinked, and I think it is much more important that the Council is vetted and reformed, in order to select good members of the High Qualifications Commission,” Buquicchio said.
According to him, the reform is also urgent, because Ukraine lacks 2,000 judges, and next year there will be another 1,700 judges who will retire by that time.
“This means that the judiciary will operate with half of its personnel. All these issues are urgent, and what I hope that the government and the parliament will do is to accelerate these reforms,” he said.
President of the Council of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) Gianni Buquicchio called on the Verkhovna Rada to adopt laws that will allow the participation of international experts in the selection of judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine on a competitive basis.
“In Ukraine, we have a serious problem of public trust in State institutions. Even when they do honest and good work, people do not trust them because so many corrupt practices have been revealed in the past. People do not know who they can believe,” Buquicchio has said at the Ukraine 30. Development of Justice forum on Wednesday.
“When this is not possible from the inside, trust has to be built with outside help, with the support of the international community who are ready to nominate international experts with high moral quality; experts who can ensure that candidates are properly vetted before they are appointed,” he has said.
International experts shall be working side by side with Ukrainians to ensure that your courts and judicial bodies are composed of people who live up to high moral and ethical standards, Buquicchio has said.
“Concepts and strategic orientation are on the table. Now, they should be implemented. I do hope that the Ukrainian Parliament will manage to unblock the discussions to adopt laws that enable these mixed bodies to work together for the benefit of the Ukrainian people. It is time to act and adopt the laws that will make a difference and to implement them. The Council of Europe and its Venice Commission are here to help and support you,” the Venice Commission President has said.
He has said that a key element of the December urgent opinion was the recommendation to establish a new system of competitive selection of judges, involving a screening body with international participation.
Buquicchio has said that an effective fight against corruption and respect for judicial independence and the Rule of Law have to go hand-in-hand. “There can be no effective fight against corruption without an independent judiciary and respect for the Rule of Law. Equally, there can be no independent judiciary and respect for the Rule of Law when corruption is pervasive. As long as corruption remains widespread the Ukrainians cannot enjoy the rule of law. Nor will you achieve public trust in institutions or confidence on the part of investors. Your country cannot prosper under those circumstances,” he has said.
The Venice Commission President has said that creating specialized institutions or adopting new laws will not in itself improve the ability to prevent and combat corruption. But effective, well-funded, and well-staffed anti-corruption institutions and courts that are left to do their work without undue interference will make a difference.
The Irish low-cost airline Ryanair (Dublin) opened ticket sales for the Kyiv-Venice route from March 30, 2021.
The airline’s booking system notes that the flights will be operated by a subsidiary of Malta Air to Treviso airport twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Departure from Venice is scheduled at 7:15 a.m. with arrival in Kyiv at 10:40 a.m. The return flight from Kyiv is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. with an arrival in Venice at 12:40 p.m..
As reported, in July 2020 Ryanair announced 16 new destinations between Ukraine and Italy as part of the schedule for winter 2020 and summer 2021.
To date, Ryanair’s announced route network from Ukraine to Italy includes 19 routes, including six from Kyiv to Bologna, Catania, Bergamo, Naples, Rome and Venice, with these flights delayed until spring 2021.
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.