October 9, 2020
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Today's issue:
- The Venice Commission calls on for immediate reform of the HCJ;
- In violation of law, a member of SAPO's head Selection Commission is Avakov's subordinate; 
- Constitutional Court launched hearings on the constitutionality of the HACC and e-declarations; 
- The HACC's judges in Martynenko's case report harassment and intimidation; 

- recommended reading
The Venice Commission calls on for immediate reform of the HCJ

On October 9, the Venice Commission approved its opinion on draft law  No. 3711 on judicial reform introduced by Volodymyr Zelenskyi in June this year. Experts of the Venice Commission made a number of critical remarks regarding new procedure of formation of the High Qualification Commission of Judges and stressed on the importance of immediate reform of the High Council of Justice through integrity check of its members. See more details in our analysis

In violation of law, a member of SAPO's head Selection Commission is Avakov's subordinate

AntAC received a document confirming that Oleksiy Drozd, a member of the SAPO's head Selection Commission, is a police officer. This means that he cannot be a member of the Selection Commission due to a direct legislative prohibition. Further participation of Yuriy Drozd in the Selection Commission is a potential ground for recognition of the entre competition illegal. Thus, he should be dismissed as soon as possible.

Article 8-1 of the Law of Ukraine on the Prosecutor’s Office provides for the explicit prohibition for law enforcement officers to be members of the Selection Commission. The legislation has imposed such a direct ban to prevent persons subordinate to the leadership of any law enforcement agency from entering the commission as the latter can give instructions to the members of the Commission. 
Constitutional Court launched hearings on the constitutionality of the HACC and e-declarations

This week the Constitutional Court has started the public hearings in the proceedings on the constitutionality of the High Anti-corruption Court (HACC) and system of electronic asset declarations. Both cases were initiated mostly by the MPs of the Opposition Platform for Life.

MPs argue that the HACC is an extraordinary court and, thus, should be unconstitutional. They also want to abolish the broad powers of the Public Council of International Experts in selections of the HACC's judges. If the CCU's finds these arguments valid, it will effectively destroy the investigation of top-corruption cases, rollback the anti-corruption reform and undermine Ukraine's international commitments (see further analysis of the arguments and consequences of the case). AntAC also provided its amicus curiae in the case.
As for electronic asset declarations MPs claim that e-declarations violate the privacy of public officials and their family members. Those arguments are easily refuted and can be explained that most of the public officials are afraid of functioning NACP, e-declaration system and potential responsibility for illicit enrichment (see further analysis of the arguments and consequences of the case).
The HACC's judges in Martynenko's case report harassment and intimidation

On October 7, the panel of judges of the High Anti-Corruption Court, which is conducting trial in Martynenko's case reported the interference in the administration of justice to the Chairman of the High Council of Justice and the Prosecutor General.

Judges claim that the defense attorneys in the case systematically protracted the consideration of the case, violated the court order, and smeared judges in the media. Finally, last week there was an explosion of an unknown device at the parking lot of the presiding judge.
Recommended Reading 
The case for sanctioning Ukraine’s anti-Western MPs - Atlantic Council
Open Letter to Arakhamia - by MEPs Viola von Cramon, Michael Gahler, Rasa Juknevičienė
Divided Central Bank (Editorial) - Kyiv Post
Ze!Corruption or old schemes of the "new faces" era - Ukrainska Pravda

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