Publication

The Foundation of promoting justice considers lack of costs in courts the main reason for the absence of fair trial in Ukraine

A few successive years judges of all levels, officials, representative of public organizations and independent experts have been speaking about insufficient financing of courts in Ukraine. But all these years neither the President, nor the Cabinet of ministers hear this and at the same time express alarm with the level of corruption in courts.

After the presidential election in Ukraine and with the new higher posts in the state government bodies, coming of the democratically elected president to power, we were waiting for the changes promised by the President and the government. One of these changes was to be ensuring independence of judges’ activity. But the situation with independence of justice hasn’t changed yet, there are no system changes.

Efficient work of judges is impossible when they have no office paper, when with plenty of cases there is no space to consider them because no costs were allotted for buying necessary buildings, when an ordinary judge is dependant from everyone – head of court, court’s administration, the Supreme Court, etc. These are the conditions promoting corruption in the system of justice. Unfortunately, it is still unknown what the government does to really change this situation for better, except for accusing courts of misuses and inefficient work. More than 10 years different state institutions have been studying the state of the judicial reform. On all levels work groups on reforming the judicial system are established, excessive costs are allotted for this. But what is the sense for doing it, when the state cannot maintain even the current system?

Both, the former and the current government use the same principles in work with the judicial branch of the government. The principles of control and pressure. So far there are no other principles. In our opinion, if the government doesn’t change its views on courts, soon we’ll have a fully ruined system at all, and there will be no justice.

So far judges in majority of cases feared to protect justice, feared to express their dissatisfaction, but one cannot stand such hopelessness too long.

The decision of the Council of judges of the Autonomous republic of the Crimea dated April 8, 2005 is an example:

1. Acknowledge consideration of cases in courts only within the limits of budget financing and regional programs of maintaining courts’ activities.

2. Acknowledge the state of financial maintenance of courts’ organization of the Autonomous republic of the Crimea extremely insufficient and disabling timely consideration of cases.

3. Appeal the Council of judges of Ukraine with the request to consider this issue at the sitting to immediately improve the state of courts’ maintenance.

4. Appeal the Ministry of finance of Ukraine, the State judicial administration of Ukraine with the request to revise the state of assignments for a year to ensure proportional costs division.”

A decision like this must have been a signal for action for the President, the Cabinet of ministers, whose programs and statements emphasize that one of the most important tasks for Ukraine is independence of the judicial branch of the government. But at present the issue is not solved. It seems that the new government doesn’t need the independent judicial system either, since first of all it is necessary to provide sufficient financing of courts’ work, what the state so far does very little.

As the head of the council of judges of the Autonomous republic of the Crimea, in the Crimea today 5 courts don’t function because of the absence of costs. But is the government going to revise its attitude to financing the judicial system? Since it’s not only financing judges, it is financing of rights’ protection for 47 million citizens.

In view of the abovementioned facts, supporting the courage of judges of the Autonomous republic of the Crimea, with the purpose of protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, with the purpose of ensuring access to justice in Ukraine, the Foundation of promoting justice and the All-Ukrainian independent judicial Association express alarm with the actions and inactivity of the Higher state government bodies of Ukraine which can lead to catastrophic consequences for the state and appeal the President of Ukraine, as the guarantor of the Constitution, the Supreme Rada of Ukraine and the Cabinet of Ministers with the request to

immediately revise grounds of courts’ financing,
• increase the amount of expenses for their material-technical maintenance,
• revise the plan of assignments for the year and ensure the proportional allotment of costs for all courts monthly,

and recommend the Supreme Rada of Ukraine to immediately adopt the Law about temporary financing of the judicial branch of the government during the period of deciding the future of the judicial reform generally.

Kateryna Tarasova,
Foundation of promoting justice

RUPOR

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