Ukrainian law

Legal news in Ukraine: new chairman of the High Council of Justice, a temporary staff of district and appellate courts, the appointment of local court judges, the decisions of the ECHR in the case on criticism of a judge, the draft law on natural burial

21.04.2019 / 08:01
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Legal news in Ukraine: new chairman of the High Council of Justice, a temporary staff of district and appellate courts, the appointment of local court judges, the decisions of the ECHR in the case on criticism of a judge, the draft law on natural burial

New chairman of the High Council of Justice has been elected

The High Council of Justice on April 16, 2019 elected a new Chairman of the High Council of Justice.

This position was taken by Vladimir Govorukha, who replaced Igor Benedysuk.

The Chairman of the Council is elected from the members of the High Council of Justice by secret ballot for a term of two years.

The regulation provides that candidates for the position are proposed by members of the High Council of Justice, as well as through self-nomination.

The decision on the election of the chairman is considered adopted if more than half of the constitutional composition of the High Council of Justice voted for him.

According to the results of the secret ballot, 17 members of the High Council of Justice voted for Govorukha’s candidacy.

Vladimir Govorukha, a judge of the Kyiv Court of Appeal, was elected as a member of the High Council of Justice on March 6, 2018 by the 15th regular congress of judges of Ukraine. He took the oath of a member of the Council and was included in the First Disciplinary Chamber of the Council.

We will add, as a result of personnel changes, Govoruha was removed from the First Disciplinary Chamber of the High Council of Justice, and Benedysuk was introduced.

A provisional number of judges in district and appeal courts has been agreed

The High Council of Justice agreed on a temporary number of judges in district and appellate courts formed in appeals districts.

The temporary staff of the general courts was approved at the level of 3721 (663 courts), the district economic courts – 549 (27 courts) and the district administrative courts - 633 posts (27 courts). In total – 4903 judges.

It is proposed that the number of judges in the appellate courts (8 courts) will be 218, in the administrative courts of appeal (9 courts) – 257 people. How many judges are proposed in the state appeals general courts (27 courts) is specified.

At the same time, the State Judicial Administration of Ukraine, within a month, will work through the proposals of the appellate and district courts and handed over to the High Council of Justice the proposals on the number of judges in the courts.

According to part six of Article 19 of the Law of Ukraine «On the Judicial System and Status of Judges», the State Judicial Administration of Ukraine determines the number of judges in court, in consultation with the High Council of Justice, taking into account the judicial burden and within the limits of costs determined in the State Budget of Ukraine for the maintenance of courts labor judges.

The President appointed 37 judges to local courts

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed Decree No. 148/2019 appointing 31 judges to local administrative courts. The document is published on the guarantor's website.

8 judges were appointed to the Donetsk Regional Administrative Court: Igor Alyabayev, Lyudmyla Arestova, Stanislav Babich, Natalia Volgina, Yulia Lgovska, Irina Dairy, Olena Troyanova, Tetyana Shuvalova.

Three judges were appointed to the Dnipropetrovsk District Administrative Court: Olena Makovska, Svitlana Nikolaychuk, Olena Seryogina.

In addition, the President appointed judges to the Kyiv Economic Court: Tetyana Kaptsova, Viktoriya Lomaka, Oleksandr Nechay, Yevhen Pavlenko, Christina Polyakova and Sergiy Turchyn.

ECHR: Ukraine will pay compensation to a newspaper that criticized a judge

The European Court of Human Rights supported the plaintiff from Ukraine – the editorial board of the Kherson newspaper «Hryvna» (case no. 41214/08 and 49440/08), stated the press service of the court.

The case concerned a judge’s statement about defamation after the newspaper published two critical materials about him in 2006.

The articles talked about the fact that the parliament postponed the appointment of a judge indefinitely on charges of corruption. The first article dealt with parliamentary debates regarding corruption charges, and the second article reported on the judge’s libel lawsuit.

The courts found the articles were offensive and harmful to the judge’s reputation, and not informative. The courts, in particular, appealed against the suggestion that a relative in the Supreme Court helped him «feel more confident» and noted that the photo in the article was taken without his consent and showed him in a «certain perspective».

The court also concluded that the charges in the second article were not based on «irrefutable facts».

The newspaper’s appeal was rejected and the applicant’s company was forced to pay almost 8,000 euros in compensation.

The claimant, referring to part 1 of article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to an impartial court), complained about the bias of the judge who was considering the case.

He also complained under article 10 (freedom of expression) of the decision of the national courts to prosecute for libel.

The ECtHR found violations of Article 6 § 1 of the European Convention and violations of Article 10 concerning the decision of Ukrainian judges regarding applications and photographs in articles.

The Strasbourg Court decided to pay € 4,000 in compensation to the complainant for non-pecuniary damage.

The parliamentary committee proposes to approve in a first reading a bill on cremation and natural burial

The Committee on Construction, Urban Planning and Housing and Communal Services recommends the Verkhovna Rada to take as a basis the draft Law No. 8248 on introducing changes to some legislative acts of Ukraine regarding the improvement of the burial sphere.

The project, in particular, offers:

to expand terminology in the field of burial;

to save land resources for introducing natural burial;

to create a competitive environment in the provision of funeral services; to organize land acquisition issues, as well as create favorable conditions for the construction of new crematoriums;

to criminalize the use for purposes not prescribed by law, or the unauthorized use of cemetery and columbar structures used for the funeral ceremony and commemoration of the dead, as well as tombstones, crypts, urns with ashes, graves or other actions aimed at offending family or public memory about the deceased, demonstrate a scornful attitude towards the place of burial and social, religious principles and traditions in this area, and the like.

The changes are supposed to be made to the Criminal Code and the Law of Ukraine «On Burial and Funeral Business».

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