Transparency International Ukraine presents the results of a six-month comprehensive study of the High Anti-Corruption Court’s work.
HACC is a unique judicial institution in the court system of Ukraine.
The High Anti-Corruption Court is constantly in the spotlight of the public, law enforcement agencies, and the country’s political leadership. Such attention, on the one hand, performs a control and preventive function, and on the other hand, quite often obstructs the work of the court.
The purpose of this study was to monitor the due process and procedural work of HACC, analyze judicial practice to determine the compliance of the High Anti-Corruption Court with the standards of criminal procedure, under the current code.
The immediate objectives of the study were monitoring of court hearings and the progress of the judicial investigation, the study of the HACC’s judicial practice, the study of the external evaluation of the court by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO), the Bar and study the work of the Judicial Protection Service (JPS).
The methodology of the High Anti-Corruption Court’s work provides for the division of the trial and pre-trial investigation into specific sub-processes, which were selected based on the criterion of influencing the HACC’s work. Besides, monitoring covers procedural aspects (those that make up the “form” of the process).
Additionally, the methodology studied the procedural and organizational part of HACC’s work in the following areas:
- Monitoring the implementation of procedural rights at the trial stage.
- Monitoring the organization of the trial.
- Monitoring of information on court activities.
- Judicial protection monitoring.
General monitoring indicators
- During the monitoring period, 311 court hearings were attended, of which 224 were relevant for the monitoring process (of which 159 hearings took place, while 65 hearings were postponed). That is, among all the hearings attended, 71% took place, while the remaining 29% were postponed.
- Among the 159 hearings that took place 68% (or 108 hearings) were hearings of the first instance; 11% (or 17) were hearings of an appellate instance, and 21% (or 34) were the hearings on election/change/cancellation of interim measures.
- 68 proceedings were monitored (first and appellate instances). Within the above proceedings, 126 people had the status of the accused person.
- In the first instance, the average percentage of violations is 7%. The most frequent violations concerned the following indicators: court materials and documents were not transmitted through the court administrator (31%), memoranda of procedural rights were not issued (19%), and abuse of procedural rights was not counteracted (13%).
- In the appellate instance, the average percentage of violations is 3%.
- As regards the generalized results of the hearings during the choice of interim measures, the average percentage of violations is higher (17%) (compared to the average performance of court proceedings). The most frequent violations concerned the indicators on the validity of the position of the SAPO / HACC in the petition / in the court decision, as well as the indicators of the category on such type of interim measure as detention: there was no justification for the risk of a person hiding from the pre-trial investigation authorities (70%), the risk of destruction of evidence was not substantiated (61%), no justification was provided for the risk of committing another criminal offense (58%), the investigating judge set a disproportionate bail (54%).
Separately within this project, the communications department studied the half-year dynamics in the public communications of the High Anti-Corruption Court and provided recommendations for their improvement.
Learn more about the results of monitoring the HACC’s work from the report of TI Ukraine.
The study was supported by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs of the US Embassy in Ukraine. The views belong solely to Transparency International Ukraine and may not coincide with the position of the US Embassy.