Ukraine Constitutional Court curbs presidential power to appoint, fire judges

[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Ukraine [official website; JURIST news archive] limited the president's power to appoint and dismiss members of local judiciaries on Wednesday. The ruling affirmed that of the country's High Justice Council [official website]. In Ukraine, local judges and their deputies are first appointed by the Ukrainian Supreme Court. The president then has the power to approve or dismiss the appointee. In recent months, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko [official website] has been criticized for using this power to only appoint officials in his favor to the court system.

Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court continues to hear arguments [JURIST report] debating the validity of Yushchenko's call to break up parliament last month despite attempt by Yushchencko to replace three of its judges. Yushchenko has said the April 2 decree was necessary to prevent his political rival, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, from threatening the power of the presidency. AP has more.

 

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