EU Project helps raising awareness on issues of uniformity of judicial practice
On 20-21 November, the Round Table “Uniformity of case law: European experience, practical aspects” was held with a purpose of discussing the mechanism of consistency of judicial practice and preliminary reference procedure in Ukraine.
Co-organized by the Supreme Court of Ukraine, Kyiv National University named after Taras Shevchenko, the EU Project “Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine” and the OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine, the event aimed at bringing together judges, scholars, and members of the Parliament, Ministry of Justice and international organizations.
On the first day members of judiciary and judicial policy-makers met to learn about best European practices related to increasing uniformity of case law. Presentations were made by representatives of the Supreme courts of France, Lithuania, Moldova, as well as the European Union Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. The second day was dedicated to general discussions of the case law uniformity issue among academics.
“Ukraine has chosen the course on European integration and this is why it is important to develop effective laws,” – said Yaroslav Romanyuk, President of the Supreme Court of Ukraine. In his words, the Ukrainian judiciary requires effective mechanism for avoiding judicial errors and uniformity of the case law is important in this regard. “We need to learn more from existing European practices to improve our judicial system,” – Mr. Romanyuk stressed.
“Uniformity of the case law is a guarantee of human rights and freedoms,” – said Natalya Agafonova, MP and Secretary of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Policy. In her opinion, unpredictability of legal judgment is one of the main problems in Ukraine. “If we do not implement new mechanisms based on the European practices, we will not be able to move forward”.
“The development of the uniformity of court practice is a real challenge for Ukraine where the Supreme Court, differently to European approach, has almost no say. It, however, directly affects public confidence in the judiciary,” – said Virgilijus Valancius, Team Leader of the EU-Project “Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine, – “The best European practices, including preliminary reference procedure could be introduced in the process of reform of the Ukrainian legal system”.