Concept of judicial reform Ukraine

(Approved by the Assembly of Law Bar Association of Ukraine of 19 September 2014)

In the process of building the rule of law, one of its most important criteria is to create a fair, transparent and effective judiciary. Currently, there is a significant need for radical changes in the judicial system and reform some of its institutions.

Ukraine Bar Association as a leading legal community, actively involved in the reform process and invited lawyers to provide their vision of necessary changes in the judicial system. Since it is professional circles are present Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine vision of the future of the judicial system.

We offer you the Concept of Legal Reform, developed by the Association of Lawyers of Ukraine.

I. Association of Lawyers of Ukraine believes that one of the main problems at the present historical stage of development of Ukraine is to build an independent and fair justice, without which it is impossible to strengthening the legal and democratic state, carrying out of any legal, economic and social reforms.

II. The Association believes that legal reform should be based on the following conceptual approaches.

1. The main goal of judicial reform in Ukraine should be to create legislative and organizational conditions for the establishment in Ukraine of an independent, efficient and responsible judiciary, which trust Society.

2. Judicial and legal reform in Ukraine should be comprehensive and provide for amending the Constitution of Ukraine, laws on the judiciary and on the status of judges, reform of related institutions (prosecution, legal profession, law enforcement), improving the procedural legislation and legislation regulating the procedure enforcement.

3. The basis for judicial reform in Ukraine should be generally recognized international standards of judicial independence, the best practice of democratic states, analysis of domestic experience in the formation and development of justice and are tried and tested suggestions for improvement of the judiciary in Ukraine, which were examined by the Venice Commission, achievements of the Constitutional Assembly.

4. In order to ensure the independence of the judiciary is offered on constitutional and legislative levels:

completely eliminate participation Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, President of Ukraine and executive bodies in the appointment, transfer, disciplining and dismissal of judges;

expected principle of tenure of judges and appointment of judges to a lifetime position, thus abandoning the procedure for the appointment of the first five years;

set exclusively tenders for selection of judges, and their transfer to the other, including higher-level courts, on the basis of transparent and objective criteria and procedures;

consolidate key role in the meetings as the process of appointment of judges to administrative positions;

strengthen legal, including criminal responsibility for unlawful influence judges in any way;

guarantee the financial independence of judges, increase the level of financial and logistical support of courts, set high salaries for judges.

5. Strengthening of guarantees of judicial independence should occur while establishing effective mechanisms of accountability of judges for making unjust decisions, corruption, actions that are incompatible with the high status of a judge. Define clear grounds in law for bringing judges to disciplinary action and dismissal from office, providing the scale of disciplinary penalties depending on the severity of wind of the offense and the principle of proportionality. Limit the amount of their functions of judicial immunity that is directly related to judicial activities to transfer powers to sanction the arrest of a judge or his detention to conviction by a court to the High Council of Justice.

6. The High Council of Justice should become an independent state body responsible for all issues of forming highly judiciary and ensure judicial independence. There should be functioning HCJ on a regular basis. Most of the High Judicial Council should comprise judges elected by their peers. To ensure the social and public control over the judicial branch of the High Council of Justice also necessarily include lawyers, academics, representatives of human rights and other civil society organizations operating in the field of law. The members of the High Council of Justice has no more than three years without reappointment. High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine should be eliminated. Instead, the High Council of Justice proposes to establish a disciplinary and qualification Chamber. On the authority of the High Council of Justice should be excluded all issues relating to prosecutors.

7. The judicial system in Ukraine should be based on the principles of efficiency and access to justice. In order to discharge judicial system and bringing it closer to the people proposed to introduce a Justice of the Peace. According to the Supreme Court of Ukraine proposed to maintain the status of the highest judicial body, defining its main objective to ensure uniform application of the law by all courts under the rule of law. It is necessary to amend the Constitution of Ukraine, aimed at recognition of Ukraine jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. It is necessary to legally regulate the activities of the jury and guarantee the right of the accused to a trial in certain categories of cases. They have further developed and encouraged extrajudicial dispute resolution mechanisms (mediation, arbitration, arbitration courts).

8. Improving procedural law should be its maximum by simplifying and speeding up procedures for dealing with disputes in those categories of cases where it is possible to ensure legal certainty, uniformity of judicial practice. At the same time mechanisms should be improved to prevent the use of unfair trial procedures. Further widespread introduction in the trial court and the organization of information technology.

9. Judicial and legal reform should include improving the organization and activities of other agencies involved in the proceedings - the prosecution, the legal profession, law enforcement. Should be substantially improved system of enforcement, introduced effective judicial control in this area.

III. Association of Lawyers of Ukraine urges the authorities to immediately start preparing a comprehensive judicial reform and stands ready to provide it in that their professional assistance.