The judicial system needs reform: our suggestions

Legal Initiative AU NGO advocated the reform of the judicial system and suggests a number of practical actions that would bring real and positive changes in the domestic justice.

According to the Coalition Agreement, the government undertook to create a non-corrupt, effective and independent judicial system, which will ensure a right to fair and permanent (impartial) trial. In practice, such attempts led to the adoption of the Law of Ukraine on Ensuring the Right to a Fair Trial.

Despite such a grandiose name, the law contains only one positive thing, i.e. a recertification of judges. All other provisions are the creation of another cassation court and minor procedural adjustments. That’s the whole justice reform. Though the Constitutional Committee under the President of Ukraine should work out the amendments to the Constitution, this initiative is not encouraging, given the composition of the working group on the reform of the judiciary system (it is composed of judges), as well as the willingness of the committee members to exclude an unjust judgment from the list of grounds on which a judge can be held accountable. Therefore, the expectations for effective reform of the judicial system is useless.

Legal Initiative AU NGO posposes the following on the reform of the judicial system:

  • deprive the public authorities of the right to form a High Council of Justice;
  • create the mechanisms to replace almost all court staff;
  • eliminate the High Specialized Courts as the basis of a corrupt vertical;
  • the only cassation court shall be the Supreme Court of Ukraine;
  • legislate the concept of unjust judgment and establish the liability for unjust judgment in the form of removal of a judge from office and criminal liability.

The above tough and decisive steps will allow fighting the corruption in courts more effectively and create a basis for real reform of the justice system in Ukraine.

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