Reformer of the week
Roman Brehei, a judge of the Kirovohrad District Administrative Court, is one of Ukraine’s few whistleblower judges who has exposed the judiciary’s flaws and called for making the ongoing appointment of a new Supreme Court more transparent.
Brehei has criticized the High Qualification Commission for allowing 299 candidates with insufficient scores take part in the competition — a move that appears to promote judges favored by the authorities. He urged the High Council of Justice not to appoint 69 of these candidates who passed to the latest stage.
Brehei has also lambasted the High Council of Justice for rejecting 48 out of 52 requests by council members to exempt themselves from voting for specific candidates due to conflicts of interest. This triggered accusations of political influence on the council, which are denied by this body.
One of the council members who will vote for Supreme Court judges, Pavlo Grechkivsky, has been charged in a fraud case for allegedly taking a $500,000 bribe to influence a court decision.
In July, the High Qualification Commission selected 120 judges of the new Supreme Court who have yet to be approved by the High Council of Justice. As many as 25 percent of the 120 nominees deemed dishonest or corrupt were vetoed by the advisory Public Integrity Council, but the commission overrode the vetoes.
The European Union and U. S. Ambassador Marie L. Yovanovitch have urged the council not to appoint discredited candidates.