On January 28, 2016, the High Qualification Commission of Judges issued a decision on conducting primary qualification evaluation of judges and approved the schedule for such evaluation. Judges will be evaluated in accordance with the Law “On Ensuring the Right to a Fair Trial”, which took into account the majority of the Council of Europe recommendations concerning individual evaluations of judges. Under the law, the High Qualification Commission of Judges carries out qualification evalutions in order to:
- verify a judge’s ability to administer justice in the particular level of court;
- verify a judge’s professional level prior to his/her election to judicial office for life tenure.
Evaluation criteria include:
professional competence (knowledge of the law, ability to conduct court hearings and to issue decisions); personal competence (ability to perform the scope of work, self-organization); social competence (balance, stress resistance, communication); and ability to increase one’s professional level and to administer justice in the particular level court.
Unfavorable evaluation results in a judge’s mandatory repeat training at the National School of Judges, followed by repeat qualification evaluation. Should a judge fail to pass the qualification evaluation once again, he/she may be removed from office.
For now, the schedule for conducting qualification evaluations has been set only for judges of high and appellate courts. Local court judges will be evaluated under a schedule to be determined by the High Qualification Commission of Judges. Evaluation results may be appealed to court.