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Ukraine’s High Anti-Corruption Court

Innovation for impartial justice

In 2018, Ukraine established a High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC). Ukrainian civil society groups, with the crucial support of the international community, pushed for this specialised court as a way to address the ineffectiveness of Ukraine’s regular courts in addressing high-level corruption. The HACC’s most distinctive institutional feature is the role of international experts in the judicial selection process, intended to safeguard against the capture of the HACC by corrupt elites.

Also available in Ukrainian
16 February 2020
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Ukraine’s High Anti-Corruption Court

Main points

  • The HACC was established through the combined efforts of Ukrainian civil society organisations and the international donor community.
  • The main arguments for creation of the HACC were the need for greater judicial efficiency, integrity, and independence in addressing corruption cases, especially those involving political elites, and the apparent inability of the regular courts to deliver swift and impartial justice in such cases.
  • The HACC’s most distinctive feature is the involvement in the judicial selection process of a body called the Public Council of International Experts, which has the power to block judicial candidates if members of the Council have ‘reasonable doubt’ about a candidate’s integrity.
  • While the HACC is off to a promising start, its success will depend on a number of factors, including the quality of work conducted by the investigative bureau and the prosecutor’s office.

Cite this publication

Kuz, I.; Stephenson, M.; (2020) Ukraine’s High Anti-Corruption Court. Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Brief 2020:3)

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About the authors

Ivanna Y. Kuz

Ivanna Y. Kuz is an AM candidate in the Regional Studies – Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia program at Harvard University.

Matthew C. Stephenson

Matthew C. Stephenson is Eli Goldston Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He is an expert in anti-corruption law, legislation, administrative law, and the application of political economy to public institutional design. He has served as a consultant, advisor, and lecturer on topics related to anti-corruption, judicial reform, and administrative procedure for the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, and national governments and academic institutions in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of the Global Anticorruption Blog (, with more than 10,000 followers.


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