On May 25, 2016, the International round-table discussion “Prospects for implementing transitional justice in Ukraine” was hosted by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine with involvement of state officials, researchers and wider academic community representatives, experts from international organizations, Ukrainian and foreign NGOs.
Finding itself in a difficult situation of overcoming the consequences of the authoritarian past and at the same time solving social problems in conditions of the armed conflict, Ukraine needs to implement effective contemporary reforms to ensure the stable and protected by law life of its citizens.
After having heard the main approaches to application of the transitional justice principles and having discussed problems of further development of Ukraine, which can be solved through implementation of the indicated principles in the public administration practice, the participants of international roundtable discussion agreed on expediency of forwarding the following recommendations to the public authority bodies of Ukraine:
- To initiate at the level of the leading academic institutions the world experience analysis with simultaneous assessment of needs and key problems in Ukraine requiring development of a national approach to the implementation of the transitional justice principles.
- To assess the availability of transitional justice elements implemented within activities of the Ukrainian authorities, as well as assess the resources and programs that may be included in transitional justice delivery process within Ukraine’s domestic policy.
- To continue reforming the law enforcement and judicial systems with a focus on a possible adaptation of the so-called hybrid judicial mechanisms (namely, hybrid courts with the legislated procedure of making foreign judges their members).
- To support initiatives of the civil society in documenting war crimes and violations of the international humanitarian law by means of providing necessary assistance to non-governmental organizations and authorities for creation of a national database of crimes and human rights violations committed during the armed conflict. In particular, taking into account the conclusions and recommendations contained in the study “Total impunity in the ATO area: investigation of murders and disappearances” (UHHRU, 2016).
- To pay proper attention to importance of ensuring the quality investigative process and mechanisms of prejudicial inquiry that will not allow persons guilty of war crimes to avoid punishment.
- To determine at the level of law enforcement and judicial systems the necessity for common approaches to the recognition of persons affected by the events in the East of Ukraine as victims of the armed conflict, providing them with effective domestic compensatory remedies.
- To initiate at the level of highest judicial bodies the case law analyses in litigations related to the armed conflict in order to develop a common position of the state for the indicated category of cases.
This round-table discussion is organized in frames of the baseline study on implementation of transitional justice in Ukraine which is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the framework of the Human Rights in Action Activity implemented by the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.
The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for 50 years. In Ukraine, USAID’s assistance focuses on three areas: Health and Social Transition, Economic Growth and Democracy and Governance. USAID has provided 1.8 bln. technical and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine since 1992.
For additional information about USAID programs in Ukraine, please visit our website: http://ukraine.usaid.gov or our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/USAIDUkraine.