The High Council of Justice addressed the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine, committees of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on budget and legal policy with a request to immediately redistribute funds from the State Budget of Ukraine for 2020 in order to increase expenditures for the payment of judges' salaries, salaries to court staff and for the administration of justice.
The measures initiated by the HCJ are due to the fact that since the beginning of the year the Council has received numerous appeals from local courts of different regions of Ukraine about inadequate funding both in terms of salaries of court staff and other expenses for the administration of justice.
At the request of the High Council of Justice, the State Judicial Administration of Ukraine reported that as of November 1, 2020, the additional need for postage stamps, envelopes and payment for marking machines by the end of the year is 284.9 million UAH, for informatization, stationery, communication - 70.0 million UAH.
The SJA of Ukraine also calculated the required salary fund for November-December 2020, based on the mandatory components of the salaries of court staff without taking into account incentive payments. The total deficit for the respective payments is 335.4 million UAH. To date, the appropriations planned for the remuneration of judges appointed in 2020 in the amount of 240.0 million UAH have not been distributed. In the case of their distribution, additional 95.4 million UAH and 21.0 million UAH are required for court staff.
The HCJ in its letters notes that as of November 17, 2020, the Supreme Court of Intellectual Property has not started its activities. Competitions for the positions of judges of this court have not been completed due to the absence of the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine. Of the expenditures provided in the State Budget of Ukraine for 2020 for this court, budget allocations in the amount of 5,215,100.0 UAH remain unused and are subject to return to the budget. In accordance with the part twelve of Article 23 of the Budget Code of Ukraine, all budget allocations expire after the end of the budget period.
In view of the above and taking into account the approaching end of the budget period, the HCJ asks the Minister of Finance of Ukraine to submit to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as soon as possible proposals to reduce budget allocations to the High Court of Intellectual Property by budget programs «Administration of justice by the High Court of Intellectual Property» and «Administration of justice by the Appellate Chamber of the High Court on Intellectual Property» and increase of budget allocations of the SJA of Ukraine under the budget program «Ensuring the administration of justice by local, appellate courts and the functioning of bodies and institutions of the justice system».
The HCJ asks parliamentary committees to assist in the earliest possible introduction and consideration of relevant amendments to the Law of Ukraine "On the State Budget of Ukraine for 2020".