Discussion Over the Enforcement System Reform


KHARKIV - August 01, 2017. The Ukrainian Bar Association together with the European Union Project "Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine" and the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine held a round table on reforming the enforcement system of court decisions.

With the welcoming words to the audience addressed Pavlo Tykhyy, head of Kharkiv Appeal Commercial Court of Kharkiv region, Dovydas Vitkauskas, head of the EU Project "Support to Justice Sector Reform in Ukraine" , Konstantin Silkin, Deputy Director of the State Enforcement Service of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine and Irina Ivankiv, Project Manager of the OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine, focusing on the importance of the reform of enforcement proceedings.

"Ukraine ranks first in the number of complaints to the ECHR. The lion's share falls on complaints about failure to execute or improper execution of court decisions. An indicator of the effectiveness of judicial decisions is directly related to the degree of public confidence in the judicial system. When citizens come to court, they expect their case to be resolved within a reasonable time and infringed or disputed rights to be restored, because no matter how fair and lawful a judgment was, its non-performance eliminates its value in the eyes of either party.

Effective enforcement of lawful and fair court decisions also affects the credibility of the state as a whole, since the state itself should create conditions for the proper functioning of the judiciary and the proper execution of decisions made in the name of Ukraine.

Today's reform of the enforcement system and the introduction of private enforcement officers is not a know-how; in Europe, private enforcement officers function effectively. Even for Ukraine, the delegation of state functions is not a new thing: the certification of transactions and state registration are carried out by private notaries.

One must understand one simple thing: all these reforms have the same goal - to create an effective system of human rights protection, so that this system is trusted by both society and state authorities. And these roundtables with the participation of almost all law enforcement agencies should contribute to this end"- Maksym Sheverdin, UBA Board Member, Managing partner of Sheverdin and Partners Law Firm.

The first block of the event was devoted to discussing the shortcomings and prospects for reforming the enforcement system. Thus, during the first session, Katilin Popov, private enforcement officer from Bulgaria, and Damir Cite, bailiff at the Supreme Economic Court of Subotica, Serbia, shared their experience regarding the activities of private enforcement officers. Also Oleksiy Voronko, partner at Ario Law Firm, spoke about aspects of the private enforcement reform, which vary depending on the position of the legal community, and Olga Shabash, judge at Zolochiv district court of Kharkiv region, highlighted the problematic issues of enforcement.

During the second session, the experts discussed the activities and self-governance of private enforcement officers. Konstantin Silikin told about the establishment of the self-government association and the private enforcement office, while Ivan Zhabotynskyy, attorney at Vasil Kisil and Partners, in turn, analyzed the reasons for restricting the activities of the private enforcement officer.

"I liked the friendly atmosphere at the event. It was felt that all united for the sole purpose - to change the system of enforcement of decisions for the better. It was interesting to hear the experience of foreign colleagues - private enforcement officers, as they really have something to tell us. Hope this is not the last event of this format!"- Ivan Zhabotynsky shared his impressions.

Summing up the round table, DovidasVitkauskas said: "The ineffective enforcement of court decisions in Ukraine is the main reason for appeals to the European Court of Human Rights. Today we are extremely happy to congratulate the first group of private enforcement officers in Kharkiv, who should start their work in the near future. The fact that private executives are, in essence, private individuals engaged in entrepreneurial activities, will positively affect their effectiveness and professionalism in enforcing court decisions. A private executor is a representative of the legal profession, which equates to lawyer and notary activities. Today we discussed the similar points and differences between the legal profession, familiarized with the positive European experience by the example of Bulgaria, Serbia and other European countries, prospects and identified the main obstacles to providing effective private enforcement activity."

This discussion was the first of a series of regional events aimed at discussing the enforcement  system reform of court decisions. We thank the European Union Project "Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine" and the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine for active participation in discussions, expert support and cooperation within the framework of these events!