On October 16, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has passed Draft Law #1008 on the functioning of judicial governance in the second reading.
Prior to the vote, the three largest business associations in Ukraine – the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, the European Business Association, and the Union of Ukrainian Entrepreneurs – voiced their concerns regarding certain provisions of the Draft Law that threaten to undermine investors’ confidence needed to attract large-scale investment to Ukraine and achieve strong economic growth.
The three leading business associations are concerned that the adopted provisions of this Law may limit access to justice and undermine the fundamental principles of the rule of law. Rule of law is a prerequisite for protecting property rights as well as maintaining the trust of the business community for continued investment in the Ukrainian economy.
The business community stresses that any changes in the procedure of administering justice, selecting judges and forming the supreme court must first undergo rigorous public discussion.
We are deeply concerned that the estimated time for consideration of cases in the Supreme Court may rise to 5 years if the number of its judges are reduced from 200 to 100 without the simultaneous reform of the courts of first instance and the introduction of filters in procedural codes.
In this regard, the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, the European Business Association, and the Union of Ukrainian Entrepreneurs urges the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky to veto the Law on functioning of judicial governance to ensure the possibility of public discussion of provisions, planning to be introduced, between the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Policy, business, international community and civil society. It is critically important to facilitate the implementation of the judicial reform, to provide real justice resulting in timely and quality decisions, and to prepare a substantive document that will secure the rule of law and investors’ confidence to attract further investments to Ukraine’s economy.