Ukrainian judges approve members for its high council

Earlier this week, four members were confirmed by Ukrainian judges to become members of Ukraine’s judicial watchdog, also known as Ukraine’s high council of Justice. 

The selection of the four new members has been mired in controversy, as Ukraine’s international backers express concern over the criteria and process used to select them.  Protests have also been held against the vote.

The Members were selected as part of the International Monetary Fund’s conditions 

The new members were selected as part of the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). According to the conditions, Ukraine must reform its judiciary system to be eligible for the $5 billion packages it requested from the IMF. The Ukrainian judges did not want to delay the disbursement of the loan. 

Ukraine desperately needs the influx of cash from the IMF because its economy was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. The High Council of Justice is an independent agency that has control over the Ukrainian justice system. It investigates the actions of judges and has the power to dismiss any Judge.

Protests were held outside the court the decision was made at. The protesters said the process used in selecting the members was not transparent. They added that International experts should have been involved in the selection process. 

The supreme court chief said withholding the vote was unconstitutional

According to the Supreme Court chief, Valentyna Danishevska, delaying the selection of the judges was unconstitutional. He added that the people selected by the judiciary were of High moral standing.   

According to a tweet by the group of seven nations, “A critical part of comprehensive reform, which includes reform of the High Council of Justice, is ensuring the integrity, ethics, and qualifications of judicial appointees.” 

Ukraine’s judiciary is widely known as a cesspit of corruption that has hindered the growth of the country. The country has been under international pressure to reform its judiciary.