The Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court considered case No. 11-164сап21, in which it spoke about the plain language of court decisions. In particular, the VP of the Supreme Court emphasized that there should be no doubt or objection that all court decisions should be:
1) Intelligible, presented in clear and simple language, and this is a necessary prerequisite for understanding the decision by the parties and the public.
2) For this, it is necessary to logically structure the decision and present it in a clear style accessible to everyone; court decisions should, in principle, be justified.
3) In setting out the grounds for making a decision, it is necessary to respond to the arguments of the parties and relevant arguments capable of influencing the resolution of the dispute.
4) The presentation of the reasons for the decision should not necessarily be long, as it is necessary to find an appropriate balance between brevity and a correct understanding of the decision.
The circumstances of the case
It is known from the case materials that the complainant appealed to the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court against the decision of the High Council of Justice "On leaving unchanged the decision of the First Disciplinary Chamber of the High Council of Justice dated March 4, 2020 No. 675/1dp/15-20 on the arrest of the judge of the Obolon District Court of Kyiv to disciplinary responsibility".
With this decision, the VRP agreed with the conclusions of its First Disciplinary Chamber that the behavior of the judge of the Obolon District Court of the city of Kyiv indicates the presence in his actions of a disciplinary offense, provided for by subparagraph "b" of paragraph 1 of the first part of Article 106 of the Law of Ukraine dated June 2, 2016 No. 1402-VІІІ "On the judicial system and the status of judges" (Law No. 1402-VІІІ), which provide for responsibility for not specifying in the court decision the reasons for accepting or rejecting the arguments of the parties regarding the essence of the dispute, which the judge committed as a result of gross negligence, and at the same time did not see in these actions signs of a misdemeanor provided for by subparagraph "d" of paragraph 1 of the first part of this article (violation of the principles of equality of all participants in the legal process before the law and the court, competition between the parties and freedom in providing the court with their evidence and in proving their persuasiveness before the court).
The Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court checked the materials of the complaint and the materials of the disciplinary proceedings against the judge, comprehensively and fully clarified all the factual circumstances of the case on which the complaint is based.
Thus, the VP of the Supreme Court emphasized that the subject of the appeal to the VRP was the decision of its First Sub-Division of the VRP dated February 11, 2020 to bring the judge to disciplinary responsibility and apply disciplinary sanctions to him in the form of a motion to dismiss him from the position of judge.
The Grand Chamber considers it possible to consider the demands of the complainant, to carefully investigate the compliance of the Supreme Administrative Court when making a disputed decision with the provisions of paragraph 4 of the first part of Article 52 of Law No. 1798-VIII, i.e., the presence of substantiated references to the legally defined grounds for disciplinary responsibility of a judge and the reasons from which the Supreme Court reached the relevant conclusions .
While considering the case, the Supreme Court noted that the reasoning behind the court decision is evidence that: the arguments and reasoning of the parties (participants) in the legal process were properly evaluated and taken into account or rejected by the court on the basis of specifically defined reasons; all the evidence collected in the case (collected by the court or submitted by the participants in the case) was given a proper legal evaluation; justification for accepting (taking into account) and rejecting each piece of evidence is provided; legal norms that regulate disputed legal relations are given, with the justification of why these or other legal norms should be applied in a specific disputed situation, taking into account the previous two points.
There should be no doubt or objection that all court decisions must be clear, expressed in clear and simple language and this is a necessary prerequisite for understanding the decision by the parties and the public; for this, you need to logically structure the decision and lay it out in a clear style accessible to everyone; court decisions should, in principle, be justified; in stating the reasons for making a decision, it is necessary to respond to the arguments of the parties and relevant arguments capable of influencing the resolution of the dispute; setting out the reasons for making a decision should not necessarily be long, as it is necessary to find a proper balance between brevity and a correct understanding of the decision made; the duty of judges to give reasons for their decisions does not mean the need to respond to every argument of the applicant in support of every defense ground; the scope of this duty of the court may vary depending on the nature of the decision.
From the content of the materials of the case No. 756/8726/16-ts, it was established that the judge made a decision in it on January 25, 2018, did not comply with the requirements of Articles 1166, 1173 of the Civil Code of Ukraine, according to which the judge had to establish what illegal (illegal) actions or inactions The prosecutor's office of the city of Kyiv caused damages to the plaintiff in the amount determined by it.
It follows from the mentioned decision that the court did not at all investigate the existence of a causal connection between the actions of the defendant in relation to the criminal prosecution of the person and the consequences in the form of damage to the plaintiff due to the invalidation of the contracts granting corporate rights. The court ignored the information that the initiation of a criminal case against a person took place much later than the acts that the latter committed together with the plaintiff, and the seizure of property by the prosecutor's office did not concern the property assets of the companies donated to the plaintiff. In addition, applying the legal consequences of an invalid transaction in the form of compensation for damage by the guilty party, contrary to the provisions of the second part of Article 216 of the Civil Code of Ukraine, without obvious reasons for this, the Prosecutor's Office of the city of Kyiv was identified as such.
The VRP agreed with the conclusions of the First Sub-Division of the VRP that the case materials do not contain any evidence that the Kyiv City Prosecutor's Office caused damage in the amount determined by the plaintiff. The disciplinary body rightly noted that person_8, as a person who concluded the deed under the influence of difficult circumstances for him in connection with the initiation of a criminal case, did not apply to the court with a demand for compensation for damage caused by the illegal actions of a law enforcement agency.
The court presided over by the complainant left without any evaluation the given information, which the Prosecutor's Office of the city of Kyiv first presented in the response to the claim, and then expressed at the court hearing when justifying the position that there are no grounds for satisfying the claim.
In the opinion of the Supreme Administrative Court, the actions of passing a court decision without indicating in it the reasons for accepting or rejecting the arguments of the parties regarding the essence of the dispute contain signs of a disciplinary offense, provided for by subparagraph "b" of paragraph 1 of the first part of Article 106 of the Law of Ukraine "On the Judicial System and the Status of Judges". The Council qualified such actions as a significant disciplinary offense in accordance with paragraph 1 of part nine of Article 109 of this Law, since the judge grossly violated the norms of procedural law and thus made a decision to collect a significant amount of funds from the State Budget of Ukraine, provided that there were no actual and legal grounds for satisfying the claim. Such actions of a judge indicate that he has committed an act that defames the title of a judge and undermines the authority of justice.
At the same time, the VP of the Supreme Court noted that the VRP of the VRP, with reference to factual and legal grounds, disagreed with the qualification of the First DP of the VRP of the judge's actions under subparagraph "g" of part one of Article 106 of the Law of Ukraine "On the Judicial System and the Status of Judges" and recognized it as erroneous, as the disciplinary body did not notice that the written objections of the defendant's representative were attached to the civil case materials, the plaintiff's representatives and the defendant's representative were heard at the court session, who provided explanations on the merits of the claim statement and the documents contained in the civil case materials. Circumstances of this content do not allow us to state that the principles of equality of all participants in the legal process before the law and the court, competition between the parties and freedom in providing the court with their evidence and in proving their persuasiveness before the court were violated.
For known reasons, none of the participants in the case contests the recognition of the complainant's actions as false qualification under subparagraph "d" of part one of Article 106 of Law No. 1402-VIII.
The Grand Chamber considers that in the disputed decision of the VRP correctly agreed with the fact that the grounds of the disciplinary offense established by the First Sub-Division of the VRP and which were reproduced in this resolution contain sufficient data for the onset of disciplinary liability. In this decision, the Council analyzed them and provided an appropriate legal characterization from the point of view of belonging to the features that make up the composition of a disciplinary offense.
Thus, the Supreme Court rightly agreed with the decision of the First Supreme Court of the Supreme Court that the violation committed by the judge falls under the legal qualification formulated by the First Supreme Court of the Supreme Court of the Supreme Court.
The Council justifiedly approved the decision of the First Sub-Division of the VRP on the absence of grounds for releasing the judge from disciplinary responsibility.
The Council checked and did not question the fact that the choice of the type of disciplinary penalty was made on the basis of the nature of the act committed by the judge, information about the judge's identity and circumstances affecting disciplinary responsibility, with the understanding that the offense was committed by the judge and in the sphere of justice. and also to what extent the actions of the judge during the proceedings in the case were objective and met the requirements of the law.
The Grand Chamber concludes that the results of the review of the judge's appeal against the decision of the First Subcommittee of the Supreme Court of Ukraine given in the contested decision are motivated, based on proper and admissible evidence, the decision was made on the basis of the Law of Ukraine "On the Supreme Council of Justice" and taking into account the principle of proportionality. Article 52 of the Law of Ukraine "On the High Council of Justice" provides no mandatory grounds for annulling the disputed decision of the Supreme Council of Justice. The Council acted within the limits of its powers and in the manner prescribed by Law No. 1798-VIII.
Summarizing the above, the Grand Chamber believes that the disputed decision of the Council, which agreed with the decision of its First State Administrative Court of the Russian Federation, does not contain grounds for recognizing this decision as illegal or unfounded, and therefore the judge's complaint for annulment of this decision cannot be recognized as well-founded, sufficient and convincing. Therefore, the judge's complaint should be rejected.