Right to a fair trial: other aspects
Section prepared by Roman Kuybida and Tetiana Ruda, the Center for Political and Legislative Reforms.
In 2015 the political authorities unfortunately failed to make a significant breakthrough in ensuring the right to a fair trial. In the public perception the judicial system remains to be corrupt, dependent on political authorities and oligarchs. Despite the adoption of legislative measures intended to clean the judiciary the real progress in lustration of judges seems to be almost absent. Significant resistance to this process is offered by the judges themselves who have not used even “soft” forms of self-purification created by the legislator. All this had a negative impact on credibility of the judicial system – only 5% of citizens trust the courts, which is one of the lowest indicators in the whole world.
The first steps of the reform
On February 12 the Parliament adopted the Law of Ukraine “On ensuring the right to a fair trial” initiated by the President, that was the first but small step of the judicial reform. In this Law 27 recommendations of the authorities of the Council of Europe in the judicial sphere were considered in full and 21 recommendations were considered partially. However, the key recommendations concerning limitation of political influence of the President and the Parliament on the judiciary system were unfortunately ignored (more on grade of consideration of the European recommendations can be found in Information about implementation of the recommendations of the Council of Europe in the Law of Ukraine “On ensuring the right to a fair trial”).
The Venice Commission assessed the Law reservedly positive but there were made quite critical comments concerning a number of provisions. Some of them were connected with the issues which should be settled by amending the Law; other comments were connected with the key problems of dependence of courts which require amending the Constitution. Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration O. Filatov said that the recommendations will be taken into consideration when working out amendments to the Constitution.
This Law enabled formation of new composition of the High Council of Justice (HCJ). It was not working more than a year because according to the Law “On restoring confidence in the judicial system of Ukraine” adopted in April 2014 the powers of the HCJ, which was acting in the times of Yanukovych’s presidency, were terminated. And the formation of the new composition was blocked in the courts for a long time.
One of the advantages of the new law was the introduction of a competitive selection for all judicial offices including the higher level courts. Moreover, from now on the previous activity of every judge should be taken into account in his/her career (number of adopted and canceled decisions, common workload, correspondence of his/her style of life with his/her legal incomes, etc.). Related information should be accumulated in the judge’s record. There is also provided the system of regular evaluation of judges by different authorities including trained representatives of non-governmental organizations on the basis of results of legal procedures monitoring. In 2015 there started only formation of the judges’ records, but the competitive selection and regular evaluation of judges are not yet actually used.
On of the positive results is increased transparency of activity of judges because now everybody can record on video court sessions without special permission of the court and all court decisions without any exceptions should be published in the Unified State Register. At the same time due to absence of related amendments of the procedural codes in practice there are many conflicts when the judges attempt to counteract video recording.
The Law intensified the competitiveness of disciplinary procedures and introduced the following six disciplinary punishments instead of two: warning, reprimand, severe reprimand, temporary suspension from delivery of justice (one to six months), transfer of the judge to the lower court and discussing of the issue concerning removal of the judge from his/her office on the basis of the oath breaking. At the same time the reprimand and the severe reprimand are connected with deprivation of right to get additional payments and the temporary suspension demands the confirmation of qualification. But in practice the most common type of punishment in 2015 was the warning.
Concerning the system of judicial self-administration the legislator refused of conferences and meetings of the judges of general and specialized courts, providing that the organizational forms of judicial self-administration should be only meetings of judges in each court respectively, the Board of Judges of Ukraine and the Congress of Judges of Ukraine. In this case the Congress of Judges is formed not by the central authorities but “from the bottom” – by the meetings of judges of the respective courts. The law also waives provisions concerning the mandatory presence of officials who are not related to the judicial system in the process of work of authorities of judicial self-administration. The Congress of Judges of Ukraine in new form was conducted in November. It was unpredictable in its decisions but despite the new regulations it demonstrated clear opposition to public demand for cleaning of the judicial system. Some odious judges were elected to the Constitutional Court and to the High Qualification Commission of Judges (HQCJ).
The Law ensured an opportunity to appeal against decisions of higher courts directly to the Supreme Court and simultaneously expanded the number of grounds for such appeal. The Supreme Court got the opportunity to review cases not only in the case of unequal application of provisions of substantive but also procedural law – after appeal of court decision that which prevents further proceedings in the case or which was made with violations of rules of jurisdiction or jurisdiction over the subject matters.
All active judges must pass re-attestation – so called initial qualification testing (test and interview before the HQCJ). In case of failure of passing the evaluation such judge should be removed from his/her office and sent to the National School of Judges for training. When after such measures the judge repeatedly gets the negative conclusion he/she can be dismissed for the oath breaking.
After adoption of the Law the qualification evaluation of all judges of the Supreme Court and higher courts should have been carried on within six months. But it has not even started because the Board of Judges impeded the process of approval of evaluation method worked out by the HQCJ. Moreover, the Board of Judges initiated a judicial appeal to the Constitutional Court with the purpose to adjudge dismissal of the judge on the basis of evaluation results to be unconstitutional that also looks like resistance to any attempts to clean the judiciary.
Also the Law did not change the subordinate regulation of distribution of cases that not only preserved but also gave new opportunities for “manual” distribution of cases by heads of the courts. In such way the Board of Judges used the Law with old regulations and approved on automated document management system of the courts, which contains provisions that negate the automated distribution of cases. After all the composition and principles of formation of the panel of judges for conduct of proceedings may be determined by the meetings of judges and not by the automated system. Besides that the meetings of judges may determine the special aspects of the automated distribution of cases in some instances. As a result heads of the courts maintained influence on this process as the meetings of judges entrust these functions exactly to heads of the courts.
Illustrative example of such intervention of the court administration in the automated distribution of cases is the decision of the Cherkasy Regional Administrative Court where it is stated that the panel of judges for conduct of the proceeding have been formed by order of deputy head of the court. At the same time the Law provides that appointment of the judge or the panel of judges for conduct of the particular proceeding should be made by the automated system.
Working out amendments to the Constitution
On January 16 the President initiated the draft law “On amending the Constitution of Ukraine (concerning immunity of immunity of deputies and judges)”. On February 5 it was presented to the Constitutional Court for provision of conclusion. The Constitutional Court have not detected any violations of the constitutional requirements. This draft law provides the abolition of parliamentary immunity, delegation of the powers to waive immunity of the judge to the HCJ, change of status of immunity of the judge from general to functional, which meets the recommendations of the Venice Commission. However, since the adoption of constitutional amendments blocks the approval of amendments to the same provisions at least for a year, the consideration of the mentioned initiative of the President is postponed due to the fact that the Constitutional Commission is working out another draft law concerning reform of the system of justice.
The latter embodies the series of European standards concerning appointment of judges with no fixed term; removal of the Parliament from appointment and dismissal of judges; formation of composition of the HCJ with the majority of judges elected by judges; limitation of immunity of judges to the functional; reduction of functions of the Office of Public Prosecutor, etc.
In the course of processing the draft law on the basis of the preliminary conclusion of the Venice Commission, the Constitutional Commission removed from its text provisions about power of the President to dismiss judges and established that the courts may be formed or liquidated only in accordance with the law but temporarily these powers are given to the President. At the same time the powers of the President to transfer judges (horizontally and vertically) are reserved in covert form and this fact indicates that the recommendation to break any connection between the judge and the political authority after appointment of the judge has been neglected. Provision about the four-tier judiciary system is also reserved though the Venice Commission repeatedly urges the authorities to simplify the judicial system. The segmental system of judicial bodies (the High Council of Justice, the HQCJ, the Council of Judges of Ukraine) is also reserved. Previously the Venice Commission suggested to form one but powerful body.
In the course of processing the draft law was supplemented with provisions about cleaning of the judiciary. Thus the powers of judges who have been appointed for 5 years should be terminated after this period (more of them were appointed during Yanukovych’s time). Other judges have to pass the evaluation and be dismissed in case of getting negative results.
It’s worth to mention that parallel with the work of the Constitutional Commission in a public environment was developed the alternative draft law amending the Constitution, which provided the establishment of new 3-tier system of courts with conduction of transparent competitions for every judge office. This new system provides to liquidate four courts of review (the Supreme Court and three higher courts). In connection with decentralization, unification of territorial communities and in consequence of drastic reduction of number of legal cases there should have been reduced quantity of the lower court judges the number of which is nowadays more than 700. The project provided the stepwise formation of new courts. Political authorities should have been completely removed from participation in solution of question of the judge’s career.
On September 4 the Constitutional Commission approved its own draft law and decided to present it again to the Venice Commission. At the same together with the draft law of September 9 there were sent propositions from the project developed by the public experts connected with the procedure of re-appointment of judges (transparent competitions for every judge office) as alternative to the procedure of evaluation of all judges. At the end of October 2015 the Venice Commission approved conclusion to the draft law amending the Constitution in the sphere of justice, in which it entertained a possibility to gain new judges on the basis of competition in case of reorganization of courts.
After another revision of the draft law on October 30 the Constitutional Commission approved the final variant of the draft law amending the Constitution in the sphere of justice. Among the positive results there are the following reductions of political influence: the President and the Parliament will have no relation to the transfer and dismissal of judges, decision about establishment or liquidation of courts will be approved by the Verkhovna Rada on the basis of the corresponding law. At the same time by agreement with the Venice Commission “for reasons of the national security” the President will reserve the power to liquidate and form courts for one year and to transfer judges – for to years. In addition the draft law provides opportunities concerning simplification of the judiciary system but this issue may be solved on the basis of the Law. With the purpose of cleaning of the judiciary it is provided that all judges have to pass the evaluation and they can be dismissed on the basis of its results. In case of liquidation or reorganization of the court the judge may give notice of resignation or pass competitive selection. At the same time some negative provisions are reserved in this draft law: the political procedure of appointment of the General Prosecutor, introduction of advocacy monopoly on representation in courts (excluding labour, social and some other “insignificant” cases).
On October 30 the Constitutional Commission presented the finalized draft law about amending the Constitution of Ukraine (concerning judiciary) to the President for its further presentation to the Parliament. On October 2015 the President presented this draft law to the Parliament where it is processed at this time.
However, all main decisions will be postponed till the final approval and adoption of the implementational laws.
Struggle for administrative positions in courts
Struggle of the judges of Yanukovych’s times for head positions in courts have taken new features after adoption of the draft law “On ensuring the right to a fair trial” which contains the provision (which is similar to the provision of the last year draft law “On restoring confidence in the judicial system of Ukraine”) that one and the same person can not hold administrative position two times in a row. However, in April the CJU clarified that the judges appointed to the administrative positions in accordance with the previous legislation can be again elected to the administrative position in court and such election will be considered the first election in accordance with the new Law. Thus despite the legal prohibition to hold such position more than two times in a row the CJU in practice allowed the heads of courts appointed during Yanukovych’s times to work on these position 4 years more.
To change the situation arisen as the result of the distorted interpretation of the provisions about period of holding administrative positions in courts for the better the new draft law about amending the Law of Ukraine “On ensuring the right to a fair trial” concerning election of judges on administrative positions was presented to the Parliament. It suggests dismissing the judges which hold one and the same administrative position in court more than two times in a row regardless of time of their appointment (election) to these positions and periods during which they are holding these positions. It is also assumed that such judges may not be elected to the same position for the next four years. The draft law has already received negative feedback from the representatives of the former government who are trying in every possible way to reserve their influence in courts.
The importance of position of head of the court in a chain of political and oligarchic influences was confirmed with two stories disclosed in the first half of 2015.
The judge of the Appeal court of Cherkasy region V. Bondarenko announced publicly about intervention of the head of the court V. Babenko in his activity after he had appealed in the court the refusal of the Office of Public Prosecutor to investigate such intervention. In the case connected with the claim of enterprise of D. Firtash “Azot” Public Limited Company against the lecturer of one of the local higher education institutions, whom the enterprise tried to evict from the corporate housing, the panel of judge headed by Bondarenko dismissed the complaint of “Azot” Public Limited Company. According to Bondarenko on the next day he was called to the head of the court who was angry with such decision and began to threaten the judge. The discontent was connected with the fact that this enterprise had lodged premises for worker of the court for celebration of the Day of court staff and the judge made decision not in the favour of this enterprise despite request of the head of the court. Conversation between the judge and the head of the court was recorded and published. After that the judge V. Bondarenko was oppressed in his activity and the judges of the appeal court elected V. Babenko on position of the head of the court for the third time even after considerable public disclosure of this situation.
Even more publicly known was the story of the head of the Appeal court of the city of Kyiv A. Chernushenko. In June 2015 the representatives of the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Security Service of Ukraine conducted a series of searches in this court and in the houses of the head of the court. The head of the court was accused of intervention in the automated distribution of cases and adoption of the knowingly illegal decisions. Among others as the evidences were used the untypical computer software which distributed cases in the court with gave the head of the court an opportunity to interfere in this process and SMS-messages sent supposedly from the telephone of son of the head of the court with instructions concerning decisions of the cases.
In most of the mass media this story was presented as the example of struggle with corruption in courts. At the same time during the meeting of the Board of Judges the head of the court reported that the search was in the court was started half an hour before taking session concerning the case in which he was demanded to adopt the certain decision in the favour of the Prosecutor’s Office. According to Chernushenko this intervention was made by the Presidential Administration. However, the Board of Judges refused even to inform the General Prosecutor’s Office about necessity to check this statement. The notification about the crime according to the fact of possible intervention in the judge’s activity from officials of the Presidential Administration was registered at the Office of Public Prosecutor by the Automaidan activist R. Maselko.
If accusation form the head of the appeal court concerning intervention of the Presidential Administration is true this may be a bad signal for other judges with the meaning: “if you are not doing as we say you will have the same problems as Chernushenko”. At the same time after the Parliament gave consent to arrest the judge Chernushenko went into hiding.
New format of the High Council of Justice
After more than a year’s break the HCJ that was responsible for formation of the judiciary and dismissal of judges started to work again in June 2015. The Law “On ensuring the right to a fair trial” launched again the process of renewal of this body. With exception of the Congress of Judges (the Law admitted legitimacy of the members elected according to its quota in autumn of the previous year), new members should have been elected and appointed by prosecutors, scientists, representatives of advocacy, the President and the Parliament.
It was positive that the Law provided more competitive principles of formation of the HCJ. In particular the candidates got an opportunity to propose themselves to different positions; information about each candidate was in sufficient time published on official web-sites, so the public had an opportunity to evaluate each candidate appropriately.
All of this partly reflected in the results: representatives of juridical higher education institutions and scientific bodies as well as the conference of representatives of the Office of Public Prosecutor elected to the HCJ the members’ reputation of which was not tainted with connection with any political power. However, the scientists have elected only two members from three according to their quota: two congresses in a row did not support any candidate from the judges.
There were many problems with election of the candidates of representatives of advocacy. The meeting of advocates that took place in April and then in June was accompanied by various scandals and manipulations including falsification of minutes of the meetings. This negatively influenced the results which were not generally approved by the congress and the elected members were given an oath in front of the minority. In addition during the congress advocates could not agree on the third member according to their quota the support of which was actively lobbied by the Presidential Administration according to some reports. After all on June 12 the congress of advocates at the third attempt voted to appoint V. Belianevych as the member of the HCJ.
The President and the Parliament also have made their contribution to formation of new composition of the HCJ although they have not avoided temptation to help some persons from political orbit of the President. Very notable is the fact that the process of election of the head of the HCJ was very familiar to that one which took place in the times of Yanukovych’s presidency. Only one candidate was proposed for the voting – I. Benedysiuk (appointed in accordance with the President’s quota) who was approved unanimously.
Resistance to lustration
Unfortunately the practice revealed ineffectiveness of measures connected with cleaning of the judicial system. It appeared that the judges were not ready for changes. According to the data of national survey 67% of judges do not support lustration in any form. At the same time the establishment of new judicial system by means of amending the Constitution and new selection to all offices of judges were supported only by 2.3% of the surveyed judges.
Previous year with the purpose of inspection of judges who were privy to the prohibition of peaceful assembly and repression to their members the HCJ formed the special temporary commission (STC) that conducted verification of claims concerning such judges and made conclusions about the evidence of the oath breaking or absence of such. All conclusions were given to the HCJ that was authorized to decide the issues of dismissal from the position of the judge.
At first the judges who came under such inspection tried to block the activity of this commission by means of appealing in courts appointment of the individual members of the STC and challenging powers of the commission. Later they lodged complaints concerning conclusions of the STC trying to stop examination of issues in the HCJ.
One of the cynical examples of so called mutual responsibility was the adoption of the Decree of the Supreme administrative court according to that the court declared illegal and annulled the decision of the HQCJ concerning the recommendation to dismiss the judge of Irpin city court of Kyiv region V. Shumko in connection with the oath breaking. During the times of the Revolution of Dignity this judge groundlessly deprived one of the Automaidam members of his driving license. Later his decision was annulled by the appeal court and the HQCJ recommended dismissing the judge from his position. At the same time referring to the principle of “the rule of law” the court annulled the recommendation of the HQCJ to dismiss the judge as according to the new law such recommendation for dismissal was a disciplinary punishment and according to the old law a one-year term for appliance of punishment had passed. This was done despite the fact that according to the old law a recommendation for dismissal was not a disciplinary punishment and a one-year limitation period could not be applied. At the same time according to the new law the limitation period is three years.
Problems of justice on occupied territories and in ATO zone
In 2014 the Ukrainian courts stopped their activities on occupied territories which are beyond the control. Part of the judges wanted to be transferred to the other courts. But not all the judges left the occupied territories. Some of them wrote the letters of resignation and at this time they have been already “appointed” to the newly established courts of so called DPR. On this occasion on January 22 the CJU addressed to the HQCJ with the purpose of verification of facts testifying that these persons had broken their oath. In addition the Office of Public Prosecutor pf Donetsk region launched criminal proceedings against the mentioned judges.
It’s worth to mention that because of long-term stoppage of work of the HCJ such judges actually have not been dismissed officially though the government does not spend funds to reward these persons because now the salary is given only to the judges who have written an application for transfer to the courts located on territory controlled by Ukraine. At the same time the judges and court staff who for some reasons have not had any possibility to leave the occupied territories but are not working for terrorists are out of money. The exact number of such persons is not known as the State Judicial Administration does not support communication with the courts located on the uncontrolled territories. However, according to information that appears in mass media this number may be significant.
For example according to a testimony of the judge of Alchevsk city court of Luhansk region L. Zhohina there are at least 27 workers of the court who have stayed in Alchevsk and do not receive any salary. The complete bank of judges of Perevalsk district court of Luhansk region were not transferred too because due to the delay in laying of venue on Lysychansk city court made by the head of the Supreme specialized court for civil and criminal cases they worked in the normal course till December 8, 2014 though they did not receive any salary since October 2014.
In addition in October some judges who had been transferred from ATO zone to other courts of the same level in other regions with retaining of their fixed official salary had problems with employment. Because the 6 months term determined by the draft law “On ensuring the right to a fair trial” within which the judge can be attached to the other court has already expired. With the purpose of solving this problem in the Parliament has been registered the draft law which provides to liquidate the corresponding time limitation that will promote the rights of judges.
In the first half of 2015 was officially resumed the work of some of the largest courts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Since April the commercial courts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions and Donets appeal commercial court have been working in Kharkiv. In addition there was resumed work of several courts the cases of which till that time were reviewed by other courts in view of the change of territorial jurisdiction. Since February in Sievierodonetsk have been reopened the Appeal court of Luhansk region and since March – the Luhansk regional administrative court. In the end of May the Appeal court of Donetsk region started its work in Artemivsk.
As for situation on the territories of the self-proclaimed “republics” in the beginning of this year there started to “work” the judiciary system of so called DPL . The government of LPR also announced starting of formation of their own judiciary system trying not to remain behind their neighbors. The law of LPR about status of the judges approved in May provided establishment of the Supreme and the Arbitration courts, the Military court and district city courts. However as for end the year, there were established only three courts (in cities Brianka, Alchevsk, Krasnyy Luch) which review only the criminal cases.
- It is necessary to adopt amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine for carrying out the successful judicial reform in Ukraine which would meet the European standards. Such amendments have to solve at least the main three issues: elimination of political influence, simplification of the judiciary system and creation of conditions for qualitative renewal of the judiciary.
- Implementation of amendments to the Constitution requires development of the special law which in particular will determine the term and the procedure of establishment of the new Supreme Court instead of the higher specialized courts and the current Supreme Court, reorganization of all appeal courts and certain local courts, procedure of evaluation and renew of judges for all positions in new (reorganized) courts, introduction of new standards of remuneration of labour of judges who passed competitions or evaluation for appointment to new courts. Such law should be adopted together with amendments to the Constitution as the integral part of the complex judiciary reform. The success of renewal of the judiciary and creation of the new quality of courts will depend upon content of this law so it will considerably influence on success of the whole judicial reform.
- Thus within the frames of the judicial reform there should be provided the following:
- to ensure independence of the judicial power from the political power and to create the practical mechanism for prevention of pressure on court by introducing guarantees for all judges who report about the facts of pressure and for prosecution of persons who force pressure;
- to establish the united independent authority for solving the issues of career and discipline of the judges which at the same time should be the body of judicial self-government the majority of which should be formed by judges elected by other judges;
- to simplify the judicial system and to create the 3-tier system of courts;
- to decrease the load on judges and courts in particular by means of introduction of electronic justice system and use of effective alternative dispute resolution mechanisms;
- to introduce transparent and fair competition for appointment to positions in newly established (reorganized) courts in which the currently serving judges as well as other specialists in the sphere of law may participate. The key criteria for renewal of the judiciary should be honesty, good reputation and professional achievements;
- to grant the right to retire from service or to dismiss at one’s own request to the judges who do not want to participate in competition or evaluation;
- to grant decent working conditions to the judges who successfully passed through procedure of evaluation of their competence and honesty;
- to determine the rules of the distribution of cases on the level of the law but not of the subordinate act;
- to introduce the mechanism which will not get to court the possibility to return the application due to lack of jurisdiction or not belonging to jurisdiction of court – so the court that received the application has to transfer it further according to principles of jurisdiction; to grant to the Supreme Court the possibility to make preliminary decisions on the issues of jurisdiction.
 Judicial reform: public opinion of population of Ukraine (December 2014) // http://en.pravo.org.ua/2-uncategorised/569-judicial-reform-public-opinion-poll-judges-and-experts-surveys.html.
 National public opinion poll concerning democratic and economic reforms, judicial reform and implementation of the Law of Ukraine “On cleaning of the power” (July 2015) // http://www.fair.org.ua/content/library_doc/2015_FAIR_July_Public_Survey_Lustration__ENG.pdf.
 Law of Ukraine “On ensuring the right to a fair trial” dated February 12, 2015 No. 192-VIII // http://zakon.rada.gov.ua/go/192-19.
 General conclusion of the Venice Commission and the Human Rights Directorate of the Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe concerning the Law “On the judicial system and status of judges” and amendments to the Law “On the High Council of Justice” No. 801/2015 dated March 23, 2015. // http://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf=CDL-AD%282015%29008-e.
 Venice Commission positively assessed the Law “On ensuring the right to a fair trial”
 Approval procedure of qualification assessment of judges has not been completed // http://vkksu.gov.ua/en/news/approval-procedure-of-qualification-assessment-of-judges-has-not-been-completed.
 Provision on automated document management system of the courts approved with the decision of the Board of Judges of Ukraine No. 25 dated April 2, 2015. // http://court.gov.ua/rsu/rishennya/rishennyaupdate.
 Draft law about amending the Constitution of Ukraine (concerning immunity of immunity of deputies and judges) No. 1776 dated January 16, 2015. // http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb2/webproc4_2?pf3516=1776&skl=9.
 Preliminary opinion on the proposed Constitutional Amendments regarding the judiciary of Ukraine // http://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf=CDL-PI%282015%29016-e.
 Civic initiative “Reanimation Package of Reforms” suggests to renew the judiciary through changes to the Constitution // http://pravo.org.ua/2010-03-07-18-06-07/lawreforms/2045-rpr-proponuie-onovyty-sudovyi-korpus-cherez-zminy-do-konstytutsii.html.
 Opinion on the Proposed Amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine regarding the Judiciary as approved by the Constitutional Commission on 4 September 2015 adopted by the Venice Commission at its 104th Plenary Session (Venice, 23-24 October 2015) // http://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf=CDL-AD%282015%29027-e.
 Propositions of the working group on justice concerning amending the Constitution of Ukraine // http://constitution.gov.ua/work/item/id/17.
 Draft law about amending the Constitution of Ukraine (concerning judiciary) No. 3524 dated 25.11.2015 // http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb2/webproc4_1?pf3511=57209.
 Decision of the Board of Judges of Ukraine No. 34 dated April 2, 2015. // http://court.gov.ua/userfiles/file/DSA/RSU_site/2015/Rishennya25_02_04_2014/rishennya34.pdf.
 Draft law about amending the Constitution of Ukraine “On ensuring the right to a fair trial” concerning election of judges to administrative positions No. 2908 dated May 19, 2015. // http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb2/webproc4_1?pf3511=55227.
 More about this story in a journalistic investigation of the Human Rights Information Center: M. Myrnyy The price of independence of the Ukrainian judge // http://humanrights.org.ua/material/cina_nezalezhnosti_ukrajinskogo_suddi.
 E. Beliavskyy Judge Chernushenko as the victim of system built by himself // http://glavcom.ua/articles/30432.html.
 Council of Judges of Ukraine is discontented with blockage of work of judge during the search // http://zib.com.ua/ua/117156-rsu_nezadovolena_blokuvannyam_roboti_suddiv_pid_chas_obshuku.html.
 Facebook page of Roman Maselko. Report about the crime // https://www.facebook.com/roman.maselko/posts/10203591227215756.
 L. Shutko Newly elected members of the High Council of Justice: who are they? // http://pravo.org.ua/2010-03-07-18-06-07/lawreforms/1949-novoobrani-chleny-vyshchoi-rady-iustytsii-khto-vony.html.
 V. Matola. Farce of the advocates. Continuation // http://lb.ua/news/2015/06/15/308278_fars_advokativ_prodovzhennya.html.
 Judicial reform: public opinion of population of Ukraine (December 2014) // http://en.pravo.org.ua/2-uncategorised/569-judicial-reform-public-opinion-poll-judges-and-experts-surveys.html.
 The Chairman of the Board of Judges of Ukraine appealed to the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine concerning dismissal of individual judges // http://mka.court.gov.ua/rsu/149450/.
 Office of Public Prosecutor investigates the fact of cooperation of 13 judges with “DPL”. // http://zib.com.ua/ua/114024-prokuratura_rozslidue_robotu_13_suddiv_v_dnr_prizvischa.html.
 L. Shutko Judges in occupation: cooperation with terrorists and debts on wages. // http://pravo.org.ua/2010-03-07-18-06-07/laworganisandstatussuddiv/1866-suddi-v-okupatsii-spivpratsia-z-terorystamy-ta-borhy-po-zarplati.html.
 All quiet on the eastern Front or why the government does not see the owners of gowns who have found themselves in ATO zone? // http://zib.com.ua/ua/113793-_chomu_derzhava_vidvertae_ochi_vid_suddiv_yaki_opinilis_u_zo.html.
 Draft law about amending the Law of Ukraine “On ensuring the right to a fair trial” (concerning ensuring the rights of judges who hold positions in the courts which stopped their activity in connection with natural disasters, military actions or conducting counter-terrorist operation) No. 3328 dated October 15, 2015. // http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb2/webproc4_1?pf3511=56828.
 General jurisdiction courts start to work in DPL. // http://novorossiapress.ru/news/v-dnr-nachali-rabotat-sudy-obshhej-yurisdiktsii.
 People’s Council of LPR adopted the law “On status of judges”. // http://lug-info.com/news/one/narodnyi-sovet-lnr-prinyal-zakon-o-statuse-sudei-3413.
 Judicial system of LPR will work in 3 months // http://miaistok.su/sudebnaya-sistema-lnr-zarabotaet-cherez-3-mesyatsa/.
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