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The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed a decree for 113 newly appointed judges of the Supreme Court. The new court is composed not only of career judges, but also representatives of the bar and legal scholars.

The new Supreme Court justices were welcomed at their first Orientation Course, which started on 14 November in Kyiv and will continue today and during the next week. The course was organised by the National School of Judges of Ukraine, the High Qualification Commission of Judges, the EU Project “Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine”, Council of Europe and other donors.

According to Virgilijus Valancius, Judge of the European Union General Court in Luxembourg, “only application of European standards and values can bring about the rule of law and protection of human rights. The reset of the judiciary in Ukraine has been transparent and unprecedented. The first step towards restoring public confidence in the judiciary has been made”.

“The new Supreme Court should primarily focus on developing uniform practice, as a key guarantee of clear and foreseeable legal system and the rule of law. This means that the Ukrainian judiciary needs to organise a single structure of thought, which in turn means that lower courts are not independent from the thinking of the Supreme Court on the same issues. In its turn, the Supreme Court is not independent of the overriding principles and European and international standards and case-law”, – said Dovydas Vitkauskas, Team Leader of the EU Project Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine”.