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Watchdog Calls On Ukraine To Establish Independent Anticorruption Court

Transparency International says judges in Ukraine should be elected through open competition.

Transparency International on September 20 called on Ukraine to create an independent anticorruption court to strengthen the country’s efforts to fight corruption.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has proposed creating an anticorruption chamber within the current court system.

But the anticorruption watchdog group said that would not win the trust of Ukrainians.

“Ukraine should adopt an independent anticorruption court to ensure that nepotism and cronyism play no part in how justice is delivered in Ukraine. President Poroshenko understands the urgency of the situation, but his proposal of a chamber within the current system will not work," said Jose Ugaz, chairman of Transparency International.

"People do not trust the judiciary to hold the powerful to account because the courts have shied away from this in the past,” he said.

Unlike many European countries, the group said Ukraine does not have a judicial system with a reputation for independent and fair justice based on the rule of law.

“There is no reasonable alternative to the anticorruption court. With proper political will from the president and parliament in place, the court can be established within a reasonable time. Political will is the key ingredient and that is what we are missing now,” said Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, executive director of Transparency International Ukraine.

To ensure the court cannot be undermined by special interests, the group said judges should be elected through open competition. Also, it said the court and its judges should be provided with security details and receive adequate resources and compensation to ensure independence.

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