Constitution of Ukraine (2004, amended 2016) (excerpts)

CONSTITUTION

 

Chapter VIII

Justice

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Article 126
Independence and inviolability of a judge are guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine.

Any influence on a judge is prohibited.

Judge shall not be detained or kept under custody or under arrest without the consent of the High Council of Justice until a guilty verdict is rendered by a court, except for detention of a judge caught committing serious or grave crime or immediately after it.

Judge is not held liable for the court decision rendered by him or her, except the cases of committing a crime or a disciplinary offence.

Judge holds an office for an unlimited term.

The grounds to dismiss a judge are the following:
1) inability to exercise his or her authority for health reasons;
2) violation by a judge of the incompatibility requirements;
3) commission by him or her of a serious disciplinary offence, flagrant or permanent disregard of his or her duties incompatible with the status of judge or reveal his or her non-conformity with being in the office;
4) submission of a statement of resignation or voluntary dismissal from office;
5) refusal to be removed from one court to another in case the court in which a judge holds the office is to be dissolved or reorganised;
6) violation of the obligation to justify the legality of the origin of property.

The powers of a judge shall be terminated in case of:
1) the judge's attainment of the age of sixty-five;
2) termination of Ukraine 's citizenship or acquiring by a judge citizenship of another state;
3) taking effect of a court decision on recognition or declaration of a judge missing or dead, or on recognition of a judge to be legally incapable or partially legally incapable;
4) death of a judge;
5) taking effect of a guilty verdict against him or her for committing a crime.

The State ensures the personal security of a judge and members of his or her family.

Article 127

Justice is administered by judges. In cases prescribed by law justice is administered with participation of jurors.

Judge shall not belong to political parties, trade unions, take part in any political activity, hold a representative mandate, occupy any other paid office, engage in other paid work except academic, teaching or creative activity.

A citizen of Ukraine, not younger than the age of thirty and not older than sixtyfive, who has a higher legal education and has professional experience in the sphere of law for no less than five years, is competent, honest and has command of the state language may be appointed to the office of a judge. Additional requirements to be appointed to the office of a judge may be provided for in the law.

As for judges of specialised courts other requirements with regard to education and professional experience may be provided by law.

Article 128

Judge is appointed to offcie by the President of Ukraine on submission of the High Council of Justice according to the procedure prescribed by law. Judge is appointed on competition basis, except the cases provided for in the law. The Chairperson of the Supreme Court is elected to office and dismissed at the Plenary Sitting of the Supreme Court by secret ballot, according to the procedure prescribed by law. 

Article 129
While administering justice, a judge is independent and governed by the rule of law.

The main principles of justice are:
1) equality of all participants in a trial before the law and the court;
2) ensuring the guilt to be proved;
3) adversarial procedure and freedom of the parties to present their evidence to the
court and to prove the weight of evidence before the court;
4) exercising public prosecution by the prosecutor in court;
5) ensuring to an accused the right to defence;
6) openness of a trial and its complete recording by technical means;
7) reasonable time of case consideration by a court;
8) ensuring the right to appeal and, in cases prescribed by law, the right to
cassation of court decision;
9) the legally binding nature of a court decision.
Other principles of justice can be determined by law.
Justice is administered by a single judge, by a panel of judges, or by jurors.
Persons found guilty of contempt of court or against a judge shall be held legally liable.


Article 1291
A court renders the decision in the name of Ukraine. The court decision is legally binding and is to be enforced.

The State ensures that a court decision is enforced according to the procedure prescribed by law.

The court supervises the enforcement of the court decision.


Article 130
The State ensures funding and proper conditions for the operation of courts and the activity of judges.

Expenditures for the maintenance of courts are allocated separately in the State Budget of Ukraine, taking into account proposals of the High Council of Justice.

Remuneration of judges is defined by the law on judiciary.

Article 1301
Judicial self-governance operates pursuant to the law protecting professional interests of judges and deciding internal activity of the courts.

Article 131

In Ukraine, the High Council of Justice functions which:
1) presents submission for the appointment of a judge to office;
2) decides on the violation by a judge or a prosecutor of the incompatibility requirements;
3) reviews complaints on decisions of the relevant body imposing disciplinary liability on a judge or a prosecutor;
4) decides on dismissal of a judge from office;
5) grants consent for detention of a judge or keeping him or her under custody;
6) decides on temporal withdrawal of the authority of a judge to administer justice;
7) takes measures to ensure independence of judges;
8) decides on transfer of a judge;
9) exercises other powers defined by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine.

The High Council of Justice consists of twenty-one members: ten of them are elected by the Congress of Judges of Ukraine among judges or retired judges; two of them are appointed by the President of Ukraine; two of them are elected by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine; two of them are elected by the Congress of Advocates of Ukraine; two of them are elected by the All-Ukrainian Conference of Public Prosecutors; two of them are elected by the Congress of Representatives of Law Schools and Law Academic Institutions.

The procedure for election (appointment) of members of the High Council of Justice to office is prescribed by law.

The Chairperson of the Supreme Court is a member of the High Council of Justice ex officio.

Term of the office for elected (appointed) members of the High Council of Justice is four years. The same person cannot hold the office of a member of the High Council of Justice for two consecutive terms.

A member of the High Council of Justice shall not belong to political parties, trade unions, take part in any political activity, hold a representative mandate, occupy any other paid office (except for the office of the Chairperson of the Supreme Court), engage in other paid work except academic, teaching or creative activity. Member of the High Council of Justice shall be a legal professional and meet the requirement of political neutrality.

Additional requirements for member of the High Council of Justice may be provided for in the law.

The High Council of Justice is competent if not less than fifteen its members, the majority of whom being judges, are elected (appointed).

In the system of the judiciary, according to the law, there are established bodies and institutions which provide selection of judges, prosecutors, their professional training, assessment, consider disciplinary responsibility cases, provide financial and organisational support for the courts.

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