RJRCs discussed peculiarities of commercial courts’ operation in EU and Ukraine
Commercial law is part of the private law field. However, it is regulated separately in Ukraine and some EU MS. Is such a division even justified? And should the merger of the two branches of law be initiated? These and other issues were discussed at the meeting of the Interregional Working Group of the Regional Justice Reform Councils (RJRCs) dedicated to the civil legislation recodification, on March 17, 2021.
During the online meeting, the international experts of the EU Pravo-Justice Project from The Netherlands – Remco van Ri and Bert Maan shared experience of the EU countries in the organisation and operation of commercial courts. The experts noted that the issue of having or not having separate commercial courts is still matter of discussion in various EU jurisdictions. In addition, the discussion also touched upon the discrepancies between the Commercial and Civil Codes, as well as the workload in different jurisdictions.
Speaking about the specialization of judges, Remco Van Ri, law professor at the University of Maastricht, noted that ‘specialization of commercial judges is a general feature of adjudication in commercial cases in Europe’.
Experts also stressed that the merger of courts should not affect the quality and speed of trials before commercial courts.
‘Quality – including speed of trial – of civil and commercial courts must be equal,’ said Bert Maan, former judge from the Netherlands.
In January 2021, the draft Concept of recodification (update) of the Civil Code of Ukraine was submitted for wider discussion. The document contains a general vision of changes in civil law. In particular, it has been proposed to recognize the Commercial Code of Ukraine as invalid.
Regional Justice Reform Councils (RJRCs) were established with the support of the EU Project ‘Pravo-Justice’ and operate in Chernivtsi, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Lviv, and Odesa oblasts, as well as in Donbas. As of today, the Councils members have actively participated in drafting the bill on mediation, amendments to the Bankruptcy Code, proposals on improvement of the law on enforcement proceedings, introduction of e-court, and discussion of the concept of transitional justice.
RJRCs operate as permanent working groups to promote bottom-up reforms by bringing region-specific challenges and decisions to the central level.