The New Composition of the HCJ Met with G7 Ambassadors in Ukraine and Representatives of International Organizations
On February 17, EU Project Pravo-Justice congratulated the new composition of the HCJ on starting work in course of the meeting between the new HCJ and a number of G7 ambassadors to Ukraine, as well as international organizations and projects helping Ukraine to implement judiciary reform.
“The High Council of Justice is aware of its responsibility to Ukraine and civil society, and also has a vision of its priorities and challenges. First of all, it concerns forming the High Qualification Commission of Judges, setting up Disciplinary Inspectors’ Service, introducing e-justice and restoring the judicial infrastructure damaged because of the hostilities,” said Hryhorii Usyk, Head of the High Council of Justice at the meeting. According to Hryhorii Usyk, the new HCJ needs methodological support and expert assistance in working on its priorities.
“We, more than anyone else, are interested that the judiciary be independent and strong, that the judges be highly professional and honest, that justice be accessible and fair, and court decisions be well-substantiated and enforceable,” he emphasized, inviting foreign partners to cooperate.
Matti Maasikas, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine added that the HCJ has a special mission – to nurture a new generation of judges.
“It’s only the beginning of the reform, but we already have the main thing – the key to transformation, and now we should apply it to vet all corrupt judges and appoint honest ones. There are still many challenges, however, the whole civilized world sees that Ukraine is persistent in establishing the rule of law and is ready to lend a shoulder,” emphasized Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine.
Bridget Brink, US Ambassador to Ukraine welcomed the fact that HCJ is operational again and also emphasized that the US is ready to continue supporting Ukraine on the path to establishing the rule of law.
“The fact that Ukraine fulfilled one of the main requirements of the European Union, namely unblocking HCJ work, will make it possible to strengthen Ukrainian judiciary. We support all reforms that are crucial for strengthening citizens’ and investors’ trust in the courts and promoting Ukraine’s integration into the EU,” the ambassador emphasized.
Melinda Simmons, Ambassador of Great Britain to Ukraine, also spoke during the event. She called on the HCJ to develop open communication and close cooperation with the public and emphasized that after the war in Ukraine is over, justice itself will become the crucial element for society.
According to Denys Maslov, Head of the Parliamentary Legal Policy Committee, judicial reform is one of the most important ones in Ukraine. He spoke about the following priorities required to further develop the judiciary: setting up the Disciplinary Inspectors’ Service as part of the HCJ, forming HQCJ, introducing new rules for selecting judges with expanded public participation, developing e-justice, as well as reconstructing courts destroyed because of the war.
“One of the challenges is that some of our courts have been destroyed, and we count on international partners’ support to restore them. However, we must restore not only buildings but give a radical rethink to form and concept of the premises where justice is administered,” Maslov said.
In course of the event, representatives of international organizations that help Ukraine on the path to carrying out judicial reform also spoke. They talked about specific areas of support. In particular, David Vaughn, Chief of Party of USAID “Fair Justice” Project, congratulated the HCJ on the commencement of their work. In his opinion, HCJ should become a leader in promoting judicial reform. According to Anna Adamska-Gallant, Key International Expert of EU Project Pravo-Justice, the judiciary is a vital prerequisite for the state to exist. She emphasized that EU Project Pravo-Justice is ready to support HCJ in all its endeavors.