Publication

Judicial reform is ready, but it’s not being implemented

Throughout 2004 both government and nongovernmental organizations in Ukraine prepared a comprehensive range of draft laws to enable judicial reform aimed at safeguarding the right to a fair trial. However these draft laws have yet to be presented by the President to parliament.

The National Commission for the Strengthening of Democracy and the Rule of Law is a permanent advisory-consultative body under the auspices of the President of Ukraine. It was created in order to facilitate Ukraine’s compliance with the 1993 Copenhagen Criteria on eligibility for membership of the European Union with regard to stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and protection of minorities, as well as the implementation of the relevant provisions of the EU – Ukraine Action Plan.

Members of the Commission are approved by the President. They include well-known lawyers, among whom are former judges, academics, representatives of civic organizations and of the state authorities.

On 4 April this year the National Commission for the Strengthening of Democracy and the Rule of Law approved a Strategy Plan for Judicial Reform in Ukraine. This Strategy Plan received positive feedback from experts of the Council of Europe Venice Commission, and was refined to take into account their comments. At the beginning of May the President passed the Strategy Plan through his Decree No. 361/2006, and also approved an action plan for its implementation.

On instructions from the President, the National Commission drew up a range of draft laws which were approved at the Plenary Session of the Commission in June and July 2006 and forwarded to the President.

The draft laws included:

  • a Draft Law on the Judiciary
  • a Draft Law  on the Status of Judges
  • a Draft Law on Court Fees

Public debate is presently underway on the strategy for judicial reform.

For reasons unbeknown to us the President has over the last two months not presented the given draft laws to parliament.

It should be noted that the introduction of the Strategy Plan for Judicial Reform approved by Presidential Decree was one of the points of the Memorandum between the President and political factions in parliament which did not provoke any particular opposition from parliamentarians.

The following draft laws in English are attached in PDF format:

Concept for the improvement of the judicial system and ensuring fair trial in Ukraine in line with European standards pdf-file (195.412 kb)

Draft Law on the Judiciary pdf-file (510.983 kb)

Draft Law on the Status of Judges pdf-file (464.686 kb)

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