How to make the Anti-Corruption Court truly anti-corruption?

47% of Ukrainians are ready to entrust the formation of  Anti-Corruption Court to the representatives of anti-corruption civil society organisations. 38% consider that Western experts should be involved in this process.  Only 9% of those polled are ready to entrust the formation of the  Anti-Corruption Court to the judges from bodies of judicial self-governance. The results of the nationwide survey were presented by Iryna Bekeshkina, Director of the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, on 1 June 2018.

An absolute majority of the population (83%) believes that the fight against corruption in Ukraine is not successful, with 50% saying it is a total failure. Media and journalists (26%), anti-corruption civil society organisations (18%) and the National Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine (11%) are viewed as the institutions that are actively fighting corruption. 79% of respondents evaluated the anti-corruption activities of courts negatively. “Unless there are sentences, people will not see the effectiveness of the fight against corruption”, – emphasised Iryna Bekeshkina.

Despite party preferences, Ukrainians are ready to entrust the formation of the Anti-corruption Court to independent Western experts. 41.5% of the supporters of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc “Solidarity” believe that experts from Western countries should join the formation of the court. “At the same time, the representatives of this political force and the Presidential Administration do everything possible to nullify the role of international experts, not even mentioning the fact that they actually initiated the exclusion of the Public Integrity Council from the process of selection of judges of the Anti-Corruption Court by filing a bill, which does not involve the participation of this institution”, – said Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, Executive Director of Transparency International Ukraine.

Some government officials persuade the public that the participation of Western experts in the formation of the Anti-Corruption Court restricts the sovereignty of Ukraine. “International experts participated in the selection of candidates to the other anti-corruption bodies  (the head of the NABU, the prosecutors of the SAP), and it was fruitful. This is well understood by the political authorities and therefore they do not want to give these levers of influence”, – said Mykhailo Zhernakov, Director of the DEJURE Foundation.

“I hope that a political decision to create this court will be finally taken. But a decisive struggle will begin after that. The struggle for implementation, for non-accession of political forces’ candidates, who would be “obedient”, – summed up Roman Kuybida, Deputy Head of the Board of the Centre of Policy and Legal Reform.

Source: UCMC