The National School of Judges of Ukraine and EU Project "Pravo-Justice" briefed administrative court judges on amendments to the Law on Administrative Procedure
On July 27, 2022, the National School of Judges of Ukraine and EU Project "Pravo-Justice" held an express seminar dedicated to the Law of Ukraine "On Administrative Procedure" and its impact on administrative proceedings to brief judges of appellate and district administrative courts on the most crucial amendments to the Law.
"Adopting the Law "On Administrative Procedure" was an important step not only for the government sector, but also for administrative justice. Adopting this law brought Ukraine closer to European Union standards as to ensuring a single administrative procedure as an integral part of the "right to good governance" which is in place in all EU Member States. The European Union welcomed the fact that this Law was adopted in its latest annual Association Implementation Report on Ukraine (July 2022). It is now important to ensure that all the preparatory steps to enforce this Law effectively are in place; training judges is an essential element in this process. EU Project "Pravo-Justice" will continue providing active expert support to the National School of Judges of Ukraine in this regard, in particular, designing a standardized training course", said Oksana Tsymbrivska, Deputy Team Leader of EU Project "Pravo-Justice".
In course of the event, Viktor Tymoshchuk, EU Project "Pravo-Justice" national expert, senior researcher at Koretskyi Institute of State and Law of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Deputy Chairman the Centre for Political and Legal Reforms Board, Doctor Habilitatus provided an in-depth account of initiating an administrative case and preparing it for consideration, court consideration of the case, and also briefed the participants on key novelties of administrative review and enforcement, revocation or invalidation administrative act.
For the Law on Administrative Procedure, which will enter into force on December 15, 2023, to be implemented successfully, a number of preparatory steps, in particular, drawing up by-laws and revising legal framework in force. In addition, civil servants and judges who will implement the law in practice must understand key novelties of the law and the Project will support the judicial community on this path.
The next steps cover holding a seminar for judges of the Cassation Administrative Court within the Supreme Court and designing a standardized course on the Law "On Administrative Procedure" which will become part of regular training at the National School of Judges and will be intended for judges in administrative jurisdiction from different regions of Ukraine.
On June 13, 2022, the President of Ukraine signed the Law "On Administrative Procedure" after it was again introduced by the Parliament with the President's proposals. The law establishes unified, modern and transparent rules governing relations between citizens and the state in accordance with European legislation, in particular:
- ensures that a citizen can directly participate in the decision-making that concerns him, has the right to introduce his position and be heard before the respective decision is made;
- introduces the concept of "persons concerned". It covers people who are directly or indirectly affected by this or that decision of the authority, who must be consulted about taking a decision that affects their rights or interests;
- establishes authorities' duty to provide rationale behind their negative decisions and fully explain to individuals how such decisions can be appealed;
- establishes a mechanism for digitalizing administrative services to make the provision of services transparent and understandable, which helps to combat corruption
EU Project "Pravo-Justice" together with EU4PAR contributed to preparing the draft law for the second reading.
In addition to governing the administrative bodies' operations, the Law is important for administrative jurisdiction judges. For the first time, it sets forth in legislation the concept of discretionary powers of administrative bodies and defines their margins of appreciation. The EU Project has been working on this for a long time. In particular, the findings of monitoring administrative proceedings in Ukraine conducted by EU Project "Law-Justice" in 2018-2020 showed that the national legislation lacks clear rules regarding the limits of judicial intervention with administrative bodies' discretionary powers. Because of this, in February 2021 the Project experts prepared the report "Discretion of Administrative Bodies and Judicial Control over it". In addition, due to the complexity of the topic, in November 2021, the Project supported the National School of Judges in holding the seminar "Judicial Control over the Exercise of Discretionary Powers by Administrative Bodies" to train trainers who will conduct the training course for judges of administrative courts.