Justice Undermined by Ukraine's Supreme Court Abolition

In Ukraine, the actions of unlawful judicial authorities fail to protect the rights and legitimate interests of citizens.

During the judicial reform of 2016, the Supreme Court of Ukraine was abolished. A new Supreme Court was established in its place through a separate competition. The authors of the reform intended this process to purge the highest judicial body of corrupt judges. The parliament amended the Constitution and changed the name of the institution from “Supreme Court of Ukraine” (SCU) to simply “Supreme Court” (SC).

In February 2020, the Constitutional Court issued a decision declaring the abolition of the SCU unconstitutional and called on the parliament to immediately rectify the situation. This decision recognized the abolition of the Supreme Court of Ukraine and the provisions on lower amounts of lifetime financial support for retired judges who did not pass the qualification assessment as unconstitutional.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in case No. 11423/19 “Gumenyuk and others vs. Ukraine” concluded that the abolition of the Supreme Court of Ukraine during the 2016 judicial reform was unlawful, as stated in the ECHR’s decision of July 22.

The attempt to abolish Ukraine’s highest judicial body violated two articles of the international Convention on Human Rights, particularly the right to a fair trial, as stated in the decision.

However, until this time, the Supreme Court operates in Ukraine without the “of Ukraine” suffix.

On December 13, 2022, the Verkhovna Rada passed a law on the liquidation of the District Administrative Court of the city of Kyiv, which was initiated and then signed by the President of Ukraine.

Subsequently, tens of thousands of cases that were under the jurisdiction of the District Administrative Court of the city of Kyiv were transferred to the Kyiv District Administrative Court.

Since the primary function of the District Administrative Court of the city of Kyiv was to resolve disputes between citizens and central authorities, these appeals are now effectively blocked. Cases are not being heard, thereby the right to a fair trial against the President of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, and other authorities in Kyiv is compromised.



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