Support for Judicial Reform. Protecting the Independence of Judiciary

“Support for Judicial Reform. Protecting the Independence of Judiciary"

The independence of judiciary is one of the fundamental principles of a democratic society, a prerequisite for the Rule of Law and a fundamental guarantee of a fair trial.

The independence of judiciary is a constitutional principle of organization and functioning of the justice system. Guarantees of judicial independence are guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine.

However, recent developments show that the guarantees of judicial independence are neglected, while mechanisms aimed to protect judges from unlawful interference are inefficient. Under these circumstances a fair trial proves to be unattainable.

According to the monitoring and analysis of judges’ appeals against intervention in their work, available on the official website of the Council of Judges of Ukraine, 62 appeals were registered in 2015, and 59 - since the beginning of 2016. Numerous appeals of judges to the Judicial Council of Ukraine indicate that the pressure on judges become commonplace.

A particular concern is that the pressure upon judges is carried out openly, blatantly and remains unpunished.

The absence of adequate response to violations of the guarantees of judicial independence leads to obstructions in the court proceedings, inability to conduct hearings threat to life and health of judges, members of the judicial process and court staff and the consequent inability to perform the basic functions - administration of justice.

The Ukrainian Bar Association “Support to the Judicial Reform. Protecting the Independence of Judiciary” aims at providing legal and information assistance to judges and courts in case of violation of the guarantees of judicial independence, legal protection of judges and support the authority of the court.

Tasks:

  • Legal and information support of each case of putting pressure on courts.
  • Public control over investigations of each case of putting pressure on court.
  • Provision of legal support to judges as victims during pre-trial investigations and in court proceedings.
  • Providing truthful coverage of court proceedings.
  • Responding to incidents of humiliation of the judiciary.
  • Cooperation with civil society and the media in covering court activities.

Expected results:

  • Increased guarantees of judicial independence.
  • Increased awareness of the professional community and the public on the factors that hinder efficient judicial reform and the right to a fair trial.
  • Active public support of judicial reform in Ukraine.

Project CoordinatorVolodymyr Kravchuk, Doctor of Law, Professor, UBA Board Member, President of Association of Judicial Self-Government Development, Judge at Lviv District Administrative Court.

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