19 June 2018

On June 7, Ukraine’s parliament passed long-awaited legislation establishing a special anti-corruption court. This is a step forward in the direction of democracy. For the past two decades Ukranians have been hoping for a law like this to end the widespread corruption in the country. President Poroshenko said in an article he wrote for The Washington Post on June 18, 2018. The law is in line with what the European Union and the International Monetary Fund have been demanding.

He added that foreign experts will oversee the selection of professional judges in an open and transparent manner, to clean up the judiciary.

The anti-corruption court was necessary because Ukraine’s courts have been proven to be unable to prosecute senior officials, politicians and oligarchs who are accused of abuse of office, corruption and other illegal acts.

Public Integrity Council, the judiciary’s civil-society watchdog, believes that the competition for Supreme Court judges was rigged in favour of government loyalists last year by the High Qualification Commission. Kyiv Post reported.

Funded by EU, a pop-up “Corruption Park” (picture above) has opened in Ukraine to highlight the scale of the problem with interactive exhibits and displays of ill-gotten gains including a $46,000 crystal falcon. One of the first things visitors see in the show is a tent shaped like the gold loaf of bread found in the house of ex-president Viktor Yanukovych after he fled to Russia in 2014.

The new anti-corruption law has a legal loophole which would potentially allow some who had already been investigated by the national Anti-Corruption Bureau to evade responsibility. This loophole may not be a coincidence but designed to let people close to the ruling party off the hook.