Judicial Reform in Progress: Comprehensive Overview of Evaluation and Vetting Processes

According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Justice today, November 27, Commission No.2 (Vetting Commission) begins the hearings of judges of the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) and candidates for the position of judge of the SCJ. In this context, for information and clarity, we present a summary of the stages of the reform: what has been done, where we are, and what follows.

  1. Commission No.1 (Pre-vetting Commission) started its activity in April 2022. It evaluated all candidates for membership in the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) and the Superior Council of Prosecutors (CSP) who submitted their files by September 1, 2023. Currently, repeated hearings are taking place for candidates who failed the evaluation and contested the decisions of the pre-vetting commission at the SCJ, and the Supreme Court of Justice has accepted their appeals. After re-evaluating the candidates, the pre-vetting commission will conclude its mandate.
  2. Commission No.2 was created in June of this year. So far, information has been collected about the judges of the SCJ and candidates for the position of judge of the SCJ. Today, on November 27, the vetting commission has started public hearings with the judges of the SCJ and candidates who have submitted all the necessary documents.

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Later, Commission No.2 will evaluate:

  • Candidates for the position of CSM member who submitted their files after September 1, 2023;
  • Members of the College for the Selection and Evaluation of Judges and the Disciplinary College within the CSM;
  • Judges in key positions (presidents and vice-presidents of courts);
  • Judges of the Courts of Appeal.
  1. Commission No.3 will evaluate:
  • Candidates for the position of CSP member who submitted their files after September 1, 2023;
  • Prosecutors in key positions within the Prosecutor General’s Office;
  • Prosecutors in specialized prosecutor’s offices (Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office and PCCOCS);
  • Chief prosecutors of territorial prosecutor’s offices and their deputies;
  • Members of the College for the Selection and Evaluation of Prosecutors and the College of Discipline and Ethics within the CSP.
  1. Judges and prosecutors who do not undergo the pre-vetting/vetting exercise will be evaluated by the Colleges for the Selection and Evaluation of Judges and Prosecutors within the CSM and CSP, after their formation.

It is anticipated that Commissions No.2 and No.3 will conclude the evaluations of the mentioned subjects by the end of the year 2025.

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