By Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei
At Current Pace, KPK Will Need 8 More Years to Vet Everyone The Independent Qualification Commission (KPK)

The vetting at the Independent Qualification Commission (KPK) continues at a glacial pace as several “priority” assessees, including several member of the Justice Appointments Council (KED), remain to be vetted.

No one was vetted last week, while this week, only two members of the judiciary were questioned by the KPK. On average, counting from the moment the KPK opened its first batch of dossiers on December 1, 2017, the KPK has managed to hold a session with about 1.6 people per week.

The following graph shows the number of KPK sessions per week (in blue) so far, as well as the running average (in red):

It has been estimated that around 800 members of the judiciary have to be vetted. Over the last year, the KPK has held 97 sessions. This means that for the remaining 700, the KPK will need an additional 438 weeks. Subtracting any additional resignations or retirements that will lower that number, the KPK basically needs an additional 8 years to vet everyone else.

This puts the end of the first round of vetting in early 2027, excluding the appeals at the Special Appeals Chamber (KPA). The level of appeals is currently around 30%.

But this is not the only problem. The vetting numbers so far show that around 50% of the judges and prosecutors have been dismissed.

If this trend continues, this means that at the end of the vetting, around 400 judges and prosecutors will have been withdrawn from the judiciary system, cutting its effective capacity in half.

This means that the School of Magistrates, as of this year, will have to produce 50 graduates per year in order to compensate for this. In reality, this number will need to be much higher, because of the length of the program and the backlog at the courts caused by the justice reform is immense. At the High Court, there are currently 28,863 open cases.

Furthermore, the vetting will produce a judiciary that will have a quite different gender balance. Currently, of the dossiers that are currently opened by the KPK, 30% is female while 70% is male. However, the data so far show that female judges and prosecutors are double as likely to pass the vetting. Whereas 80% of female assessees have been confirmed so far, whereas only 42% of the male assessees have passed the vetting successfully.

Whether these skewed numbers show that men are more prone to corrupt and fraudulent behavior, whether this shows a bias of the KPK, which consists of 9 women and 3 men, remains unknown.