The Importance of Law Practice in Achieving Legal Certainty Regarding the Grounds for Disciplinary Liability of a Judge

Keywords: disciplinary liability of a judge, grounds for disciplinary liability, legal certainty, evaluation concepts


In order to overcome the relevant problem, the Law of Ukraine “On the Judiciary and the Status of Judges” significantly changed both the grounds for bringing a judge to disciplinary responsibility and the grounds for applying the most severe measure of such responsibility — dismissal of a judge. The level of detailing of such grounds is quite high, both in terms of the certainty of such grounds, and in terms of proportionality between the type of disciplinary misconduct and the type of penalty to be applied for it. At the same time, the results of the analysis of the relevant legal provisions shows that they are not devoid of evaluative, vague concepts, such as «gross disregard for the duties of a judge», «gross violation of the law», «gross negligence», «significant negative consequences». Thus, the question arises whether the problem of uncertainty of the grounds for disciplinary liability of a judge has been conceptually resolved, or whether the relevant problem continues to exist despite significant legislative detail of the relevant grounds. Resolving this issue is the purpose of this article. The existence of wording in the legislation that does not meet the requirements of legal certainty, such as «gross negligence», «gross violation of the law» carries certain risks to the independence of judges, but the existence of such risks can not be considered a reason for the law refused to use them. This is due to the objective impossibility of formulating in the law an absolutely exhaustive list of grounds for disciplinary liability in general and grounds for dismissal of a judge in particular. Critical is the issue of forming a consistent practice of the disciplinary body, which would, firstly, form the criteria for understanding vague concepts, and secondly, would not allow different approaches to responding to the same misconduct of a judge.


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Judiciary; Public prosecution and Advocacy