At its plenary session on March 10-11, the Venice Commission adopted a conclusion on some issues related to the procedure for appointing and dismissing the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and the director of the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).
This was reported in the press service of the Council of Europe.
As noted, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CSU) at the request of the Verkhovna Rada is currently considering draft amendments to the Constitution on the procedure for appointing and dismissing the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine and the director of the State Bureau of Investigation.
On December 12, 2022, the Acting Chairman of the Constitutional Court appealed to the Venice Commission with a request for an opinion in this case.
The five questions posed by the KSU to "Venetianka" can be divided into two groups. Three questions concern the compatibility of the constitutional amendment project with certain principles enshrined in the Constitution, namely the principle of separation of powers, checks and balances, democracy and respect for the rule of law. KSU also asks whether these changes could negatively affect the protection of human rights and freedoms.
The second group of questions concerns the procedure for introducing amendments to the Constitution, namely the (im)possibility for the Parliament and the Constitutional Court to continue considering and approving these amendments during the martial law regime declared in Ukraine in connection with Russian aggression.
Regarding the first block of questions, the Venice Commission believes that the proposed changes meet the minimum requirements of parliamentary influence and control over the executive power and do not go beyond the spheres reserved for legislative, executive or presidential power.
"From the point of view of the rule of law, the draft amendments to the Constitution are formulated in a clear way, and it is clear that the constitutional amendments, in the event of their adoption, will be developed in the implementing legislation for both relevant institutions. In such a by-law, the Verkhovna Rada can consider further ways to improve the process on the appointment of both directors on a competitive basis to ensure a fair appointment process based on merit and to ensure compliance with constitutional human rights provisions related to the right to participate in the administration of public affairs, non-discrimination, equality and due process of law," the conclusion reads. .
As noted, the final decision on whether the proposed changes create a conflict with the provisions of the Constitution on human rights rests with the Constitutional Court.
In the context of the second group of questions, the Venice Commission slightly favors the line of argument that the Constitution prohibits only the final adoption of constitutional amendments, and not preparatory or intermediate steps in this process (such as obtaining the opinion of the Central Committee of the Supreme Court), but reiterates that the final answer to this question must be given KSU in the light of the constitutional tradition of the country.