Today, on December 20, President Zelenskyy has signed the law on changing the procedure for selecting judges of the CCU (draft law No.7662), approved by the Verkhovna Rada last week.

This happened immediately after yesterday, on December 19, the Venice Commission published an updated opinion on the procedure for selecting judges of the CCU. In it, the Commission stressed, in particular, that the Advisory Group of Experts, which would vet candidates for judges, should include one more, seventh, member from among the independent international experts.

The adopted law provides for only six members of the AGE — three independent experts from international partners and three Ukrainian political appointees; without the vote of the latter, no decision can be made. The seventh independent expert would neutralize the political influence on the commission. That is why CSOs called on the President to veto the draft law.

The Venice Commission also stressed that candidates for the position of CCU judge, whom the AGE evaluated as such who “do not meet” (the requirements) should be excluded from the further selection process and should not be appointed. But currently, the law allows the appointment of such candidates. It invalidates the whole competition. There may be a situation when the AGE evaluates the candidate as not appropriate, but the Verkhovna Rada or the Congress of Judges will still be able to appoint them.

Thus, in its current form, the law on “reform” of the CCU does not consider the recommendations of the Venice Commission and the calls of civil society, threatens democracy and European integration.

The Presidential Office already controls five judges of the CCU. Three appointments will be made by the Parliament, where the Servant of the People party constitutes a mono-majority, and two appointments will be made under the quota of the Congress of Judges.

If these appointments take place in accordance with the approved and signed law, which does not provide for independent selection, the political authorities will fully control the Constitutional Court in the spring. This is a direct threat to democracy in Ukraine.

The newly adopted law also violates Ukraine’s international obligations. The CCU selection reform is #1 among the seven priorities related to Ukraine’s obtaining the status of a candidate for accession to the EU and the opening of accession negotiations. The decision of the European Council to grant Ukraine the status of a candidate clearly states that the reform should take place in accordance with the recommendations of the Venice Commission, which the law signed by the President ignores.

Therefore, the introduction of the draft law in this form threatens the rule of law, democracy, and European integration of Ukraine.

We therefore urge:

 – the Venice Commission and other international partners not to delegate experts to the Advisory Group on the Selection of Judges of the CCU until amendments to the law are made that comply with the recommendations of the VC;

 – MPs to immediately amend the adopted law to bring it in line with the recommendations of the Venice Commission, first of all, to include the seventh member delegated by Ukraine’s international partners in the Advisory Group of Experts. 


DEJURE Foundation

Anti-Corruption Action Centre

All-Ukrainian Association “Avtomaidan”


Transparency International Ukraine

CHESNO Movement

Anti-Corruption Headquarters

Anti-corruption Research and Educational Center