Larysa Holnyk, whistleblower judge from Poltava, will not be able to participate in the competition for the High Anti-Corruption Court – even though on 17 January 2019 the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court annulled the judge’s reprimand from the High Council of Justice. It was the reprimand received by the judge for her Facebook post that blocked her from participating in the competition for the High Anti-Corruption Court. Larysa Holnyk published the opinion of the High Qualification Commission of Judges on this issue on her Facebook page.
According to her, the HQCJ reasoning is based on the following:
- the HQCJ decision (to deny her participation in the competition) has not been recognized illegal and annulled by the court
- the HQCJ cannot ensure the principle of equality and confidentiality in the competition if Holnyk takes the test individually.
Larysa Holnyk said the following about their commentary: “Clearly, we are not talking about the principle of justice. It is easy for a public authority to violate somebody’s rights, but it is almost impossible to restore them. The fight goes on.”
It is easy for a public authority to violate somebody’s rights, but it is almost impossible to restore them. The fight goes on.
Larysa Holnyk, whistleblower judge
As a reminder, in May 2014, Zhovtnevyi rayon court of Poltava received the case against city mayor Oleksandr Mamai. It was about the conflict of interest in the context of land he allocated to his stepdaughter. Holnyk refused to rule in the mayor’s favor. The case drew a lot of attention because of the mayor’s corruption disclosure and the pressure against Larysa Holnyk from the court chief.
In January 2018, the High Council of Justice received complaints from head of Oktiabrskyi rayon court of Poltava Oleksandr Strukov, where Holnyk works. Strukov claimed that judge Holnyk failed to comply with workplace discipline regulations.
In April 2018, the High Council of Justice opened a disciplinary proceeding against Holnyk.
On 23 May 2018, the Disciplinary Chamber of the High Council of Justice issued a reprimand.
On 26 October 2018, the High Qualification Commission of Justice was reviewing whether candidates for positions of High Anti-Corruption Court judges complied with the legislative requirements. Among other things, the Commission decided to deny Larysa Holnyk the chance to participate in the competition because of her reprimand from the HCJ.