Sot­nyk: An­ticor­rup­tion court es­sen­tial to na­tion

Kyiv Post Legal Quarterly - - News -

5 es­tab­lish­ment of a separate body that runs un­der well-reg­u­lated, trans­par­ent se­lec­tion pro­ce­dures and pub­lic scru­tiny.

4. “An­ticor­rup­tion courts can be­come ob­so­lete in the event of a suc­cess­ful ju­di­cial re­form and the purge of the ju­di­ciary.”

An­ticor­rup­tion courts do play a crit­i­cal role in the tran­si­tion stage. How­ever, a real ju­di­cial re­form should aim to cleanse the ju­di­ciary and se­lect new, com­pe­tent, and im­par­tial judges. Cur­rently, this part of ju­di­cial re­form is fail­ing. The ma­jor­ity of new Supreme Court jus­tices came from the same sys­tem, many with du­bi­ous rep­u­ta­tions, and their de­clared as­sets were not ad­e­quately ver­i­fied. The com­ple­tion of

ju­di­cial re­form does not nec­es­sar­ily pu­rify the ju­di­ciary or en­sure its in­de­pen­dence.

5. “The track record of the new an­ticor­rup­tion bod­ies has proved their in­ef­fec­tive­ness. There­fore, an an­ticor­rup­tion court will also be in­ef­fec­tive.”

As of June 30, NABU was pur­su­ing 371 crim­i­nal cases, 121 in­di­vid­u­als had been in­dicted, and 78 crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings had been handed down by the court. But the in­ves­ti­ga­tions con­ducted by NABU are ham­pered at the trial stage, since most in­ves­ti­ga­tions re­quire court au­tho­riza­tion to be­gin. But the courts are the weak­est link in the fight against cor­rup­tion. Form­ing the new an­ticor­rup­tion court is the ob­vi­ous and log­i­cal next step.

The es­tab­lish­ment of an­ticor­rup­tion courts could help com­plete the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of cor­rup­tion cases and pros­e­cute those re­spon­si­ble, in­clud­ing those big fish that have eluded pros­e­cu­tors. A lack of re­sults in the courts, the un­prece­dented re­sis­tance of of­fi­cial Kyiv and the Indonesian ex­pe­ri­ence in­spire me to fight for this ap­proach in my coun­try and give the ideals of the Euromaidan Rev­o­lu­tion a chance to fi­nally be re­al­ized.

Olena Sot­nyk is a mem­ber of Ukraine’s par­lia­ment and an at­tor­ney in Kyiv. She tweets @ Le­na­sot­nyk. This es­say was trans­lated from Ukrainian to English by Vera Zim­mer­man and is reprinted with the au­thor's per­mis­sion.

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