EU project helps lawyers from 6 regions to participate in justice policy-making

Nov 11, 2020 | E-justice, Judiciary, Justice, Property rights protection

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For three years now, the EU Project Pravo-Justice has been helping to involve the legal community in policy-making in justice sector within the framework of Regional Justice Reform Councils from Chernivtsi, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Lviv, Odesa regions and Donbas.

During this time, members of these councils were taking an active part in drafting a mediation draft law and amendments to the Bankruptcy Code, proposals to improve the legislation on enforcement proceedings, implementation of e-court and development of the concept of transitional justice. These and other outputs were summed up at the II Annual Regional Justice Reform Councils Conference which took place in Kyiv on November 11, 2020, with the support of the EU Project Pravo-Justice.

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"Today, more than ever, we see how acute legal issues are in Ukraine. Justice system must be ready to address important legal challenges justly and efficiently. The EU promotes the rule of law in Ukraine to ensure sustainable social and economic development, confidence of citizens and foreign investors in Ukraine," said Ambassador Matti Maasikas, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine.

Regional Justice Reform Councils function as permanent working groups to promote bottom-up reform by bringing region-specific challenges and their potential solutions to the central authorities. As a result, lawyers from regions via their own solution proposals have the opportunity to participate in justice policy-making and present their comprehensive recommendations for improving the legislation. Moreover, thanks to EU financial support, international experts share best European practices on the functioning of the justice system in the framework of the сouncils.

"When professionals come together, it is always a big win. We welcome involving as many opinions of the professional community as possible in the discussion and implementation of initiatives being developed in the Ministry of Justice. Regional Justice Reform Councils are a fairly new tool with great potential,” said Oleksandr Banchuk, Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine.

The process of forming Regional Justice Reform Councils in 6 regions lasted from July 2018 to February 2019. The councils are composed of representatives of a wide range of legal professions, academia, students and NGOs who meet regularly to pinpoint and discuss justice reform issues of most importance for their region.

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"We welcome the vigour of those participating in regional councils and support their activities because thanks to their achievements there is an important dialogue between the centre and local practitioners in place. Discussing challenges locally and bringing them to the central level helps lawyers to speak the same language, hear and be heard,” said Dovydas Vitkauskas, EU Project Pravo-Justice Team Leader.

Regional councils have become a platform for permanent and structured dialogue between central authorities and regions and a means for formulating and communicating regions' justice reform needs and expectations to the central level.

Presentations:

Chernivtsi RJRC - SMEs problems

Chernivtsi RJRC - Students engagement

Lviv RJRC - E-justice

Odesa RJRC - Enforcement

Dnipro RJRC - Business

Donbas RJRC - Legal challenges of internally displaces persons

Kharkiv RJRC - Effective communication of lawyers