EU Project Pravo-Justice and Judiciary Leaders Discussed Criteria for Remapping Local General Courts using the Example of Lviv Region

On 6 May, EU Project Pravo-Justice arranged a roundtable discussion “Remapping Local General Courts: Criteria and Methodology using the Example of Lviv Region” in Lviv.

In his opening remarks, Denys Maslov, Head of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Policy, thanked EU Project “Pravo-Justice” for paying attention to the challenges of remapping local courts and other important topics for the judiciary.

“Remapping local courts is very important for both the President and the Parliament, and is therefore reflected in strategic documents: The Strategy for the Development of the Judiciary and Constitutional Justice for 2021-2023, as well as the Recovery Programme for Ukraine. Our task is to approach remapping in the most responsible, high-quality manner, understanding the consequences. After all, remapping must not create obstacles to access to justice and providing quality judicial services,” said Denys Maslov.

Bohdan Monich, Head of the Council of Judges of Ukraine, added that court remapping is more urgent than ever because of the uneven workload in courts.

“Remapping is about improving operations of the entire system. There is one goal to it – to maximise efficiency and achieve better results with minimum resources which are very limited in wartime,” said Bohdan Monich.

Oleksii Salnikov, Head of the State Judicial Administration of Ukraine, thanked the Project for the opportunity to study experience in court remapping in EU countries.

“Although court remapping has been postponed because of the hostilities, we need to develop approaches and criteria for remapping courts at all levels. We need to take into account workload and ensure its even distribution, determine new structures of court staff, work out rational use of budget resources, and implement digital services in justice to the fullest extent possible,” said Salnikov.

Viktor Moroz, Acting Head of the Court Security Service, Colonel of the Service, said that court remapping reform is important and that the Service, which is an element of the judiciary, needs to learn from European experience.

Anna Adamska-Galant, Key International Justice Expert at the EU Project Pravo-Justice, emphasised that remapping is primarily related to citizens’ access to justice.

“It is also important to keep in mind the quality of justice. After all, courts with a heavy workload do not have enough time to analyse and consider a case. Moreover, there is too much workload for the court staff in such courts. This has a negative impact on public confidence in justice. Justice takes time. Therefore, remapping should help to resolve this and have a positive impact on the judiciary and citizens,” said Anna Adamska-Galant.

Pavlo Pavlish, Member of Parliament, Head of the Working Group of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Policy on the draft law on remapping local courts in Ukraine in view of the establishment (liquidation) of districts, spoke about the remapping plans being developed by the Parliament.

“The main criterion for court remapping s is to meet citizens’ needs. It is necessary to create conditions for disputes to be resolved in a timely and efficient manner. It is also important to improve the working conditions of judges and staff,” emphasised Pavlish.

Viktor Deineka, Head of the SJA of Ukraine in Lviv Region, presented the concept of remapping local general courts in Lviv Region.

Moreover, Project International Experts Reda Moliene and Kari Kiesiläinen shared their practical experience of remapping local courts in Lithuania and Finland.