Serhiy Kozyakov, head of the High Qualification Commission, deserves the title of “Judicial Reform’s Gravedigger” for running roughshod over the Public Integrity Council, the judiciary’s civil society watchdog.
The commission has so far overridden 75 percent of the Public Integrity Council’s vetoes on 64 candidates for Supreme Court jobs deemed to be corrupt or dishonest.
Mikhail Slobodin, a judge at the Kharkiv Commercial Court of Appeal, said on June 22 that by rejecting the civic watchdog’s vetoes, the commission had destroyed society’s trust in the ongoing Supreme Court competition.
“Francis Fukuyuama said that society’s trust in the institutions of liberal democracy was a necessary condition of these institutions’ existence,” he said.
Roman Brehei, a judge at the Kirovohrad District Administrative Court, has asked law enforcement bodies to investigate the High Qualification Commission over what he sees as a blatantly illegal decision to let 299 candidates with insufficient scores run in the competition.
The High Qualification Commission on June 26 overrode the Public Integrity Council’s veto on Deputy Prosecutor General Angela Stryzhevska in what critics saw as an effort to promote a loyalist of the authorities.
Stryzhevska has a conflict of interest because of her prosecutorial duties and has committed procedural violations as a judge before, the watchdog said. Stryzhevska and the commission deny accusations of wrongdoing.