Authors David Vaughn and Olha Nikolaieva explain the milestones and features of Ukraine’s newly established anti-corruption court in this short 3-minute video.
- The High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) was established through a concerted effort by Ukrainian civil society, with international support, in response to public demand for accountability. The push for the new court reflected the inability of ordinary courts to effectively adjudicate high-profile corruption cases.
- Adoption of the legal framework was a milestone, but making the HACC operational required measures to ensure that judges would have the necessary resources and basic infrastructure to consider cases.
- The innovative approach to selecting HACC judges involved international experts and reflected the importance of appointing judges with impeccable integrity. It was combined with a needs-based orientation program, focused on the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to consider corruption cases, to prepare judges to take the bench.
- Creating the administrative and organisational systems for the HACC, including courthouse facilities, security, IT infrastructure, and communications, required leadership from newly appointed judges and court personnel, with targeted international assistance.
- The recruitment and hiring of HACC staff required vetting the integrity of candidates, as well as dedicated trainings on the special features of working at a specialised anti-corruption court as part of the onboarding process.
- Performance evaluation of the HACC focuses on the expectation that judges will adjudicate cases effectively, fairly, and in a timely manner. Their ability to do so depends in part on the quality of cases prepared by investigators and prosecutors.
- During its first 16 months of operations, the HACC has made significant progress, as reflected in civil society monitoring. However, various challenges persist.