Extraordinary response to protest over interference by Prosecutor General in court judgements
The Verkhovna Rada Committee on Judicial Issues has sent the appeal from human rights defenders on the need to draw up and introduce amendments to legislation to the High Council of Justice. The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union had approached the Committee over the flagrant interference by the Prosecutor General’s Office in the work of the courts. This was after the Deputy Prosecutor General Mykhailo Havrylyuk, who is at the same time a member of the High Council of Justice, in June of this year, wrote to the High Council of Justice suggesting that it dismiss three judges of the Kyiv Court of Appeal – Ihor Moroz, Valery. Pashkevych and Ludmila Bartashchuk. UHHRU considers that Havylyuk wants to punish the judges for acting in accordance with Ukraine’s Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.
To ensure that the Prosecutor’s Office did not continue interfering in the work of the courts, UHHRU turned to the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Judicial Issues asking that amendments be introduced to legislation in order to prohibit representatives of the Prosecutor’s office from using their membership of the High Council of Justice to make proposals to dismiss judges. Amendments were also needed to bring the makeup of the High Council of Justice into line with European standards for ensuring judges’ independence.
The Head of the Committee, Serhiy Kivalov’s signature is on the response received. The letter states that the UHHRU appeal has been sent to the High Council of Justice “for it to be taking into account when the High Council of Justice considers the above-mentioned proposals”.
Since the High Council of Justice has no right to make amendments to legislation, this response is devoid of any logic or sense.