The United States, together with the Government of Ukraine, civil society, and other international partners, all recognize that judicial reform is critical to strengthening the rule of law and attracting foreign investment to Ukraine. In July, Ukraine enacted an historic law that provides an opportunity for true reform of the judiciary. International partners nominated highly qualified experts to support renewal of Ukraine’s foremost judicial governance body, the High Council of Justice, in line with that law. On September 13, however, Ukraine’s Council of Judges refused to nominate Ukrainian judges to participate in the process, a refusal that threatens to derail the promise of real judicial reform in Ukraine.
There is still time to save this effort. The Council of Judges can fulfill its obligation to implement the law and put forward nominations. We remain firmly committed to assisting in this critical reform so that the people of Ukraine may trust their courts and judges and so that Ukraine can continue on its path toward Euro-Atlantic integration. Judicial reform will bring more jobs and economic opportunities, as well as fairness and justice. The Ukrainian people deserve no less.