Article 126 of the Constitution foresees the dismissal of judge for violation of his duty to confirm the legality of source of assets. That means that if the judge do not prove that he has purchased the property with legally obtained income, he should say goodbye to his position. This norm was intended to help clear courts from judges whose luxurious possessions clearly did not match their small salaries. The responsibility is also foreseen for lies in declarations.
It is the High Council of Justice who has the power to dismiss and punish. However, instead of promoting purification, it created the rule that allowed judges who had doubtful property or did not disclose it in declarations easily to avoid responsibility. The HCJ decided that in order to punish such judges, they first had to be examined by the National Agency on Corruption Prevention, which should find violations. The HCJ refuses to consider appeals against judges without the NACP's opinions even when the fact of violation is obvious. And everyone knows how the NACP conducts examinations.
The head of the Sixth Administrative Court of Appeal Andriy Goryainov
in his declaration indicated modest apartment and no vehicle. He also divorced his wife at the end of 2015. That is why she disappeared from his declaration. Although journalists found
that although the judge was divorced, he used the property of his former mother-in-law, namely, the luxury house in Kyiv with the total area of 427 square meters and the Lexus car. During the interview at the HQCJ, it turned out
that Goryainov received the power of attorney over various property for the period of 50 years or more. This was classic concealment of property from declaring and registering it to the loved ones.
These facts became the ground for disciplinary complaint against the judge Goryainov, which was filed in September 2016. The High Council of Justice had been ignoring it for 2.5 years and only on March 28, 2019, simply refused to consider it because of the lack of the NACP's opinion.
The situation is similar to the notorious judge of Kyiv District Court Igor Pohrebnichenko
, who is the key subject on "Vovk's tape-recordings
". Recently he has been notified of suspicion by the Prosecutor General's Office. In 2018, journalists
and the Public Council of Integrity
found clear inconsistency between his property and the judge's salary as well as lies in the declarations. He lived in the house registered on his mother as well. The appeal against Pohrebnichenko was considered by current chairman of the HCJ Igor Hovorukha. He also returned it on October 30, 2018, because there was no opinion of the NACP.
However, even when the NACP itself finds violations of anti-corruption legislation, the HCJ also refuses to punish such judges. For instance, the HCJ refused to bring to responsibility the judge of Kyiv Economic Court of Appeal Sergiy Stanik
, judges of the High Specialized Court Lydiya Mazur
and Olena Kadetova
following appeals of the NACP.