Ukrainian legal community and EU experts discussed challenges and achievements in justice reform

Nov 23, 2017 | Judiciary

On 23 November 2017 the EU-funded Project “Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine” hosted a conference that brought together key stakeholders representing the Ukrainian judiciary, legal community, national and international experts.

The Project made a unique contribution to the reform process by helping design the Judicial Reform Council under the Administration of President in 2014, and develop the Justice Sector Reform Strategy and Action Plan signed the President of Ukraine in 2015. Since then, a number of key developments included a complete reset of the judiciary through the recruitment of new Supreme Court justices, first instance judges, and an in-depth evaluation of the current judges. The judiciary governance system was rebuilt with the new High Council of Justice at its pinnacle.

The Project also helped the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice to restructure, depoliticise its policy-making role, and set up dedicated capacities of strategic planning, allowing for a more profound impact of the MOJ activities on the whole justice sector. Specific work with MOJ also included the gradual privatisation of enforcement services, setting up of probation service, improvement of the MOJ role in regulation of registers and e-justice.

“Activities of the Judicial Reform Council would not have been possible without the assistance from the EU project “Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine. This is one of the most successful examples of international support to the judicial reform in the country”, – noted Oleksiy Filatov, Deputy Head of the Administration of President of Ukraine.

“Support of the Project to the selection of Supreme Court and other judges in general, and support in the conduct of psychological testing in particular, were key to an ambitious process of the judiciary reset. We hope our cooperation with EU will continue along the same lines,” – said Sergii Kozyakov, Head of the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine.

“We are proud of our achievements during the last few years. Never before such a conceptual and holistic approach to the justice sector reforms was possible and realistic,” – said Dovydas Vitkauskas, Team Leader of the EU project “Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine”.