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Rules of Procedure of the Plenum

APPROVED

by the Resolution

of the Plenum

of the Supreme Court

                                                                                No. 1 of 30 November 2017

 

RULES OF PROCEDURE

of the Plenum of the Supreme Court

General Provisions

Plenum of the Supreme Court (hereinafter – Plenum) shall be a collegial body composed of all the judges of the Supreme Court.

Regarding the issues of internal activity of the Supreme Court the Plenum shall be the body of judicial self-government and shall not perform the authority of meeting of judges.

Legal provisions, organization and the order of activity of the Plenum shall be determined by the Constitution of Ukraine, the Law of Ukraine “On the Judiciary and the Status of Judges” and by these Rules of Procedure.

Article 1. Authority of Plenum

  1. Plenum shall:

1) elect and dismiss the President of the Supreme Court and Vice-President of the Supreme Court;

2) elect, from among the judges of the Supreme Court upon proposal of the President of the Supreme Court, and dismiss the Secretary of the Plenum of the Supreme Court;

3) hear reports of the President of the Supreme Court about the activity of the Supreme Court, Secretary of the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court – about the operations of the Chamber;

4) issue opinion/conclusions on draft laws concerning the judicial system, legal proceedings, the status of judges, enforcement of judgments and other issues related to the functioning of the judiciary of Ukraine;

5) take decisions on addressing the Constitutional Court of Ukraine regarding constitutionality of laws and other legal acts and on the official interpretation of the Constitution of Ukraine;

6) issue an opinion on presence or absence of signs of treason or other crimes in actions of the President of Ukraine; upon request of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, present a written motion on incapability of the President of Ukraine to exercise his/her powers for health reasons;

7) approve the Rules of Procedure of the Plenum of the Supreme Court;

8) approve the Regulation on the Scientific Advisory Board under the Supreme Court and its composition;

9) approve the composition of the editorial board of the official publication of the Supreme Court;

10) approve the budget request of the Supreme Court;

11) generalize the practice of application of substantial and procedural legislation, systematize and ensure the promulgation of legal positions of the Supreme Court with the reference to judgments, where they were formed, in order to provide uniform application of legal norms while considering separate categories of cases;

12) provide recommendatory clarification concerning application of legislation while considering judicial cases under results of the analysis of judicial statistics and generalization of court practice;

13) express mistrust to the Head of Staff of the Supreme Court resulting into his/her dismissal from this position;

14) approve the Provision on the Staff of the Supreme Court, structure of the Staff of the Supreme Court and staffing table of the Staff of the Supreme Court;

15) elect tweleve delegates from the Supreme Court – three judges from each casstion court – to the meeting of judges of Ukraine;

16) consider and make decisions on other issues ascribed by law to its authority.

Article 2. Convocation of the Plenum

  1. Plenum shall be convocated by the President of the Supreme Court in case of necessity or at the request of at least quarter of the amount of judges of the Supreme Court but at least once per three months. In case of absence of the President of the Supreme Court the Plenum shall be convocated by the Vice-President of the Supreme Court.
  2. The information about day, time and place of the convocation of the Plenum, as well as issues to be considered and rapporteurs (co- rapporteurs), judges of the Supreme Court and other participants of the Plenary Session shall be published, usually, ten days before, but not later than five working days before the session. During this term the materials as for issues to be considered by the Plenum shall be sent. Materials concerning issues included into the agends shall be sent during that very term in e-form, and in case of necessity – in paper form.
  3. Members of the Staff of the Supreme Court, representatives of state authorities, scientitific institutions, civil organizations, the mass-media and other individuals may be invited to the Plenum. Head of the Staff, his\her deputies and heads of structural divisions of the Staff of the Supreme Court shall be present at the Plenum.
  4. The order of convocation and holding the Plenum as for the early termination of office of the President of the Supreme Court shall be determined by the Law of Ukraine “On the Judiciary and the Status of Judges”.
  5. Sessions of the Plenum shall be held in the house of the Supreme Court. Symbols of the judicial power shall be in the Plenary Session Hall: image of the National Coat of Arms of Ukraine and the National Flag of Ukraine.

Article 3. Preparation and Order of Holding Session of Plenum

  1. The agenda of the Plenum shall be formed by the Secretary of the Plenum of the Supreme Court basing upon the petition (request) made according to the Article 2 of these Rules of Procedure. The agenda with the list of documents to be considered and draft resolutions of the Plenum shall be provided (sent) to judges of the Supreme Court by the Secretary of the Supreme Court with the assistance of the Staff members. In case of necessity, documents as for the consideration of issues included into the agenda shall be provided (sent) to other participants of the Plenary Session.

Recording the protocol, where the process of the Plenary Session is fixed in written form, and fixing the session by technical means shall be performed by the Staff of the Supreme Court.

  1. Judges of the Supreme Court have right to make proposals to the President of the Supreme Court as for including some issues to the agenda. Such proposals shall be presented in written form with notification of issues to be considered at the Plenum and the motivation for their consideration, as well as with draft resolution of the Plenum and other necessary materials.
  2. The issues proposed to be considered by the Plenum shall not be included to the agenda, if they are beyond the authority of the Plenum.
  3. The materials to be considered by the Plenum shall be transferred to the Secretary of Plenum in printed or e-form at least twenty working days before the session. Issues to be discussed at extraordinary session of the Plenum shall be submitted at least ten working days before the session.
  4. Information about time and place of holding session of the Plenum shall be published on the official web-site of the Supreme Court. The placement of the invited in the hall shall be secured by corresponding structural division of the Staff of the Spreme Court. Under the decision of the Plenum, representatives of the mass-media may not be permitted to participate in the session of the Plenum while considering separate issues.
  5. Following the order while session of the Plenum shall be secured by corresponding structural division of the Staff of the Supreme Court, which executes the orders of presiding person at the session of the Plenum and the Secretary of the Plenum of the Supreme Court.
  6. Session of the Plenum shall be opened by the President of the Supreme Court. In case of absence of the President of the Supreme Court, session of the Plenum shall be opened by a person performing his\her duties.
  7. To count votes under results of consideration of separate issues of the agenda of the Plenum vote counting commission shall be elected under the procedure foreseen by part 5 of the Article 4 of these Rules of Procedure.
  8. Session of the Plenum shall be competent in case of presence of at least two thirds of the Plenum composition, except for cases established by the Law of Ukraine “On the Judiciary and the Status of Judges”. For the establishment of quorum and the determination of the amount of votes submitted while election, the factual number of judges of the Supreme Court shall be taken into account. In case of absence of quorum the session shall be rescheduled to another date (time).

Judges of the Supreme Court at the session of the Plenum shall not abstain from voting.

  1. After opening the session of the Plenum the presiding person shall inform about the amount of present judges of the Supreme Court, participation of invited persons in the work of the Plenum, presence of the mass-media representatives, as well as shall announce the issues included into the agenda.
  2. The agenda shall be approved by means of public ballot by the majority of votes of judges of the Supreme Court present at the session of the Plenum. The agenda may also include other issues, if they are appropriately prepared according to requirements of the part 2 of this Article.
  3. After the approval of the agenda the floor shall be given to persons noted for report (co-report). Rapporteur (co-rapporteur) may be raised oral or written questions. The time for report (co-report) and for speech while discussion shall be determined by means of an open vote by the majority of votes of judges of the Supreme Court present at the Plenum session.
  4. After the report (co-report) and the expression of opinions by the invited, judges of the Supreme Court and other participants of the session shall be given the floor in order to discuss the report (co-report). The presiding person shall hold the session impartially and provide judges and other participants with equal possibilities to discuss issues from the agenda without restricting them in terms of raising and removing questions, and without commenting their expressions. The discussion may be terminated only at the proposal of judges by means of an open vote by the majority of votes of judges of the Supreme Court present at the Plenum session.
  5. To prepare issues to be considered at the Plenum, working groups may be formed from among judges of the Supreme Court and other experts on corresponding matters. The decision on the formation of working groups and their composition shall be approved by the majority of the present on the Plenum session.
  6. After the discussion of issue under consideration, the presiding person announces and adds draft resolution of the Plenum to ballot as a whole or separately each its item. Resolution (its separate item) shall be considered as adopted one, if it is supported by the majority of present judges’ votes. In case of the same amount of votes “for” and “against”, resolution of the Plenum (its separate item) shall be considered as unadopted one. In case of necessity to finalize the draft resolution or its separate provisions, the resolution may be adopted in the first reading. In this case working group may be formed in order to finalize the draft resolution; after this the date of the next session of the Plenum shall be determined for the consideration of this draft and the date, by which the participants of the Plenum may submit their comments and proposals to it (but not more than ten days after the adoption of the resolution in first reading). By the second and next readings a comparative table shall be prepared, where the text of the draft resolution, submitted comments and proposals, decisions of the working group and the final edition of the draft shall be provided.
  7. Protocol of the session of the Plenum shall be finally processed by the Secretary of the Plenum of the Supreme Court during ten days after the end of the session and signed by the presiding person and the Secretary of the Plenum of the Supreme Court (in case of absence of the Secretary of the Plenum of the Supreme Court – judge determined by the Plenum as the secretary of session). Corresponding data storage device with the data about fixing the session with technical means (disc, flash drive) shall be added to the protocol, and in case of necessity – its complete or partial written transcription.
  8. The Plenum session shall be held in the state language. If a person invited to the session does not speak the state language, he\she shall be entitled to deliver the speech in another language he\she speaks and\or to use the services of an interpreter. The person shall inform the Secretary of the Plenum of the Supreme Court in advance about his\her intention to speak another language, to use the services of an interpreter. The organization of interpretation of the report shall be conducted by the Staff of the Supreme Court.
  9. Judges of the Supreme Court and other participants of the Plenary Session shall deliver their speeches, give explanations, raise questions and respond to them with the permission of the presiding person.
  10. The Plenum shall adopt resolutions on considered issues. Finally adopted resolution in term up to ten days shall be processed by working group taking into account editorial amendments. The appropriately approved resolution shall be transferred to be signed by the Secretary of the Plenum of the Supreme Court (judge determined by the Plenum as the Secretary of the session) and the presiding person.
  11. Copy of the resolution of the Plenum not later than three days after its signing shall be sent to judges of the Supreme Court and interested persons in e-form, and if necessary – in paper form.
  12. Printed and e-text of the resolution shall be immediately transferred by the Secretary of the Plenum of the Supreme Court to corresponding structural divisions of the Staff of the Supreme Court for its publishing in the official publication and the web-site of the Supreme Court.
  13. Contor over the execution of resolutions of the Plenum shall be performed by the Secretary of the Plenum of the Supreme Court, and over decision of the Plenum – by the President of the Supreme Court.

Article 4. Order of Election of the President of the Supreme Court and Vice-President of the Supreme Court

  1. Plenum shall elect the President of the Supreme Court to the position by the majority of votes of the overall composition of the Plenum by means of secret voting. The President of the Supreme Court shall be elected from among judges of the Supreme Court for a term of four years with the right to hold the position of the President of the Supreme Court for not more than two consecutive periods. The President of the Supreme Court shall not simultaneously hold any other administrative position. The Plenum on the election of the President of the Supreme Court shall be convocated not later than one month after the termination of the authority of previous President of the Supreme Court.
  2. The Plenum shall elect the Vice–President of the Supreme Court at the proposal of the President of the Supreme Court. The Vice-President of the Supreme Court shall be elected for four years and shall be dismissed from the position by the Plenum. The decision on his\her election to the position and on the dismissal from the position shall be adopted by the majority of votes of the overall composition of the Plenum by means of secret voting.
  3. During the election of judges to the positions of the President of the Supreme Court and the Vice-President of the Supreme Court, the functions of the presiding person shall not be performed by a judge, who is a candidate for the election to these positions. If the President of the Supreme Court is absent or pretends to hold the position, the session shall be chaired by a judge of the Supreme Court, who is elected from among by means of open voting by the majority of votes of judges of the Supreme Court present at the Plenary Session.
  4. Form of bulletins for secret voting shall be approved on the session of the Plenum. Decision on the form of a bulletin for secret voting shall be adopted by the Plenum by means of open voting by the majority of votes of judges of the Supreme Court present at the session.
  5. Presiding person on the Plenary Session shall submit a proposal on the establishment of commission for organization and holding election of the President of the Supreme Court and the Vice-President of the Supreme Court (hereinafter – counting commission) pursuant to part 8 of the Article 3 of these Rules of Procedure. Five judges, who are not candidates for the positions, shall be elected to the counting commission by means of open voting by the majority of votes of judges of the Supreme Court present at the Plenum session. At least one judge from each cassation court shall be included to the counting commission. The counting commission shall elect its chairperson and the secretary of the commission from among its members; about this fact a protocol shall be prepared.
  6. A protocol, by which forms of bulletins are approved, shall be signed by the presiding person of the session of the Plenum and transferred to the chairperson of the counting commission. In the bulletins for voting for candidates to the positions of the President of the Supreme Court and the Vice-President of the Supreme Court names of vacant positions and names of all candidates (in alphabetical order) pretending on them shall be noted. The amount of candidacies for a vacant position shall not be restricted.
  7. Entering the surnames of candidates to bulletins shall be performed only in case of presence of their oral or written consent to run for office. A judge may run for office simultaneously only for one office.
  8. By the beginning of election judges of the Supreme Court may raise questions to candidates and participate in the discussion of their candidacies.

Article 5. Order of Voting for Candidacies to Position of the President of Supreme Court and Vice- President of the Supreme Court

  1. Counting commission secures the production of bulletins for secret voting according to the amount of judges present at the session of the Plenum. The presiding person at the Plenum session shall sign flip side of each bulletin, put the seal of the Supreme Court and transfer the bulletins to the chairperson of the counting commission; concerning this fact corresponding act shall be prepared. Bulletins without the signature of the presiding person at the session of the Plenum and the print of the seal of the Supreme Court shall be considered as invalid ones.
  2. Judges receive bulletins for secret voting from members of counting commission against signature in registration list. Unused bulletins shall be annulled.
  3. Counting commission shall secure the secrecy of voting. Nobody, except for voting person, shall enter the voting booth. Before holding the secret voting, the bulletin box shall be sealed by the chairperson of the counting commission in the presence of all members of the commission, and while voting it shall be situated in the place, which is accessible for viewing by all participants of the Plenary Session.
  4. Voting for a certain candidate shall be held by means of striking the surnames of other candidates (if they are) and leaving the surname of one supported candidate in the bulletin.

Article 6. Order of Determination of Results of Voting for Election of the President of the Supreme Court and Vice- President of the Supreme Court

  1. After holding secret voting the counting commission shall examine the seal integrity on the bulletin box, open it, examine the validity of bulletins, count votes “for” and “against” of each candidate, as well as prepare protocol of counting votes, where the amount of judges, who received bulletins, amount of bulletins declared as invalid, amount of votes submitted “for” and “against” candidates, and those candidates, who gained the majority of votes, shall be noted. The protocol shall be signed by the chairperson and members of the counting commission. The chairperson of the counting commission shall announce the protocol on this very session of the Plenum.
  2. Bulletins of unidentified type, spoilt ones and those, where other surnames were additionally written, where surnames of two and more candidates for the same post are left, as well as those, where it is impossible to find out the expression of will, shall be recognized as invalid ones.
  3. Persons, who receive the majority of votes from the overall composition of the Plenum, shall be considered as ones elected to relevant positions. On the basis of the protocol of secret voting, resolution of the Plenum on the election of these persons shall be processed.
  4. If no one candidate scores the necessary number of votes, under the decision of the counting commission, second vote for two candidates, who scored the biggest number of votes for corresponding post, shall be held.
  5. If while the second vote no one candidate is elected, new election for corresponding post shall be held.
  6. Copy of resolution of the Plenum on the election of judges to administrative posts processed in the established order, shall be approved with the seal of the Supreme Court and sent to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the President of Ukraine and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

Article 7. Election of Secretary of the Plenum of the Supreme Court and His\Her Dismissal from Performing Duties

  1. Secretary of the Plenum of the Supreme Court shall be elected to the position for four years from among judges of the Supreme Court upon the proposal of the President of the Supreme Court.
  2. While considering the issue on the election of the Secretary of the Plenum of the Supreme Court, duties of the Secretary at this session shall be performed by a judge of the Supreme Court, who shall be elected by the Plenum as the Secretary of the session by means of open voting.
  3. Secretary of the Plenum of the Supreme Court shall be elected and dismissed from performing the duties by means of open voting, except for cases of the adoption of decision on secret voting by the Plenum in the order established by these Procedure Rules.
  4. A judge, who received the majority of votes of judges from the overall composition of the Plenum by means of open or secret voting, shall be considered as one elected to the position of the Secretary of the Plenum of the Supreme Court.
  5. Upon the proposal of the President of the Supreme Court, voluntarily or upon the decision of at least a quarter of the overall composition of judges of the Supreme Court, the Secretary of the Plenum of the Supreme Court shall be dismissed from performing his\her duties by means of open or secret voting by the majority of votes of judges of the overall composition of the Plenum.

Article 8. Prescheduled Dismissal of Judges from Positions of the President of the Supreme Court and Vice-President of Supreme Court

  1. President of the Supreme Court and Vice-President of the Supreme Court shall be dismissed from the positions by the Plenum in the order established by the Law of Ukraine “On the Judiciary and the Status of Judges” and these Rules of Procedure.
  2. The order of prescheduled termination of authority of the President of the Supreme Court as a consequence of expressed mistrust to him\her by the Plenum shall be determined only by Article 41 of the Law of Ukraine “On the Judiciary and the Status of Judges”. The Rules of Procedure shall not be applied in this case.
  3. The issue of prescheduled dismissal of the President of the Supreme Court or the Vice-President of the Supreme Court shall be considered under the personal claim of the person holding this office or upon the proposal of at least one third of the overall composition of the Plenum signed by them. In the claim or proposal on prescheduled dismissal of a judge from administrative position a specific reason for such dismissal shall be noted.
  4. In case of necessity the Plenum may establish a commission on the examination of the presence of reason for the adoption of decision on prescheduled dismissal and their justification. The number and personnel of such commission and its authority shall be determined by the Plenum.
  5. Issue on prescheduled dismissal of judges from the posts noted in the part 1 of this Article shall be solved by secret voting. The Plenum shall establish a commission to hold corresponding procedure under the rules foreseen by Articles 4 and 6 of these Rules of Procedure.
  6. A judge shall be considered as dismissed from the position of the President of the Supreme Court or the Vice-President of the Supreme Court, if this fact is supported by the majority of votes of the overall composition of the Plenum. The dismissal from administrative position shall not deprive a person from the authority of a judge of the Supreme Court.
  7. Under the results of voting, the Plenum shall adopt a resolution, which shall be processed in established order.
  8. Issue on mistrust to the President of the Supreme Court shall not be initiated repeatedly during a year after the date of its consideration on the Plenary Session.

Article 9. Issuing Opinions on Draft Legislative Acts and Adoption of Decisions on Application to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine

  1. Plenum shall issue opinions as for draft legislative acts concerning judiciary, judicial proceedings, status of judges, execution of judgments and other issues connected with functioning of the judicial system of Ukraine, and shall adopt decisions on the application to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine as for the constitutionality of laws and other legislative acts, as well as concerning the official interpretation of the Constitution of Ukraine upon the proposal of the President of the Supreme Court, and in case of his\her absence – the Vice-President of the Supreme Court in the order foreseen by Article 3 of these Rules of Procedure. Secretary of the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court, presidents of cassaton courts within the Supreme Court are authorized to initiate making of such a proposal.
  2. Preliminary consideration of an application to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine as for the constitutionality of laws and other legal acts, as well as concerning the official interpretation of the Constitution and laws of Ukraine shall be held by the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court or relevant cassation court with corresponding structural division of the Staff of the Supreme Court. Under results of such consideration an opinion shall be prepared, which shall be transfered to the President of the Supreme Court, and in case of his\her absence – the Vice-President of the Supreme Court for its submition to the Plenum.
  3. Resolution of the Plenum on the application to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine with constitutional application and the relevant constitutional application shall be finally processed by the Staff of the Supreme Court within five days, after that it shall be approved by the Secretary of the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court, president of relevant cassation court (president of cassation courts), head of relevant structural division of the Staff of the Supreme Court, the executor and shall be signed by the President of the Supreme Court.

Article 10. Issuing Opinions on Presence or Absence of Features of Treason or Other Offence in Actions, President of Ukraine Accused of, and on Impossibility to Perform Authority by President of Ukraine for Health Reasons

  1. On the basis of decision of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted according to Article 111 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the Plenum shall issue an opinion concerning the presence or absence of features of treason in actions, the President of Ukraine accused of.
  2. On the basis of application of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, adopted pursuant to Article 110 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the Plenum shall adopt and submit written decision on the President’s of Ukraine impossibility to perform his\her duties for health reasons to the Verkhovna Rada.
  3. Consideration of issues noted in items 1 and 2 of this article shall be performed by the Plenum under the rules foreseen by relevant law and the article 3 of these Rules of Procedure, and voting shall be secret.

Article 11. Approval of Provision on Staff of the Supreme Court, Structure of Staff of the Supreme Court and Staffing Table of Staff of the Supreme Court

  1. Upon the proposal of the President of the Supreme Court, the Plenum shall approve the Provision on the Staff of the Supreme Court, structure of the Staff of the Supreme Court and the staffing table of the Staff of the Supreme Court in the order established by Article 3 of these Rules of Procedure.

Article 12. Expression of Distrust to the Head of Staff of the Supreme Court

  1. Plenum shall express distrust to the Head of Staff of the Supreme Court, which entails his\her removal from the position, in the order foreseen by Article 3 of these Rules of Procedure.
  2. Upon the decision of the Plenum, the Head of Staff of the Supreme Court shall report about the condition of organizational support to the Court, judges and judicial process, functioning of the Unified System of Infornation and Telecommunications (Automated) System.

Article 13. Consideration and Solution of Other Issues Referred Authority of Plenum by the Law of Ukraine “On the Judiciary and the Status of Judges”

  1. Plenum shall consider issue on the approval of the Provision on Scientific and Scientific Advisory Board of the Supreme Court and its composition, listen to the information of the President of the Supreme Court about the activity of the Supreme Court, the Secretary of the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court – about the activity of the Grand Chamber, approve the composition of the editorial board of the official publication of the Supreme Court, approve the budget request of the Supreme Court, consider and solve issues referred to its authority by law in the order fixed by Article 3 of these Rules of Procedure.

Article 14. Record Keeping of the Plenum

  1. Secretary of the Plenum of the Supreme Court in terms of organization of execution of resolutions of the Plenum and holding record keeping shall coordinate and direct the work of relevant structural division of the Staff of the Supreme Court, which shall hold record keeping upon materials of the Plenum, keep documents concerning the examination of execution of resolutions of the Plenum, protocols, resolutions, correspondence between the Plenum and courts, institutions and organizations concerning the activity of the Plenum, other documents.
  2. Secretary of the Plenum of the Supreme Court with the assistance of the Staff of the Supreme Court shall secure the provision (sending) of judges of the Supreme Court, other courts, the invited (if necessary) and the chief editor of the official publication of the Supreme Court with resolutions of the Plenum.

Article 15. Amending These Rules of Procedure

  1. Amending these Rules of Procedure shall be possible upon the proposal of the President of the Supreme Court or upon the proposal of at least a quarter of the overall composition of judges of the Supreme Court.
  2. All necessary documents and draft resolutions of the Plenum shall be prepared by initiators of amending. These materials shall be considered in the order foreseen by Article 3 of these Rules of Procedure.
  3. Decision on making amendments to these Rules of Procedure shall be considered as acceptable ones, if the majority of overall composition of the Plenum supports it.
  4. Amending the Rules of Procedure concerning the procedure of election to the position or dismissal from the position of the President of the Supreme Court less than six month before the termination of his\her office shall not be permitted.