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On 4 December 2015, II Session of the Regional Justice Sector Reform Council took place in Odesa. Judges, advocates and legal professionals discussed amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine with regard to judiciary reform. Virgilijus Valancius, Team Leader of the EU Project “Support to Justice Sector Reform in Ukraine”, moderated the event.

The participants expressed their opinions on double interpretation of the draft constitutional provisions in order to avoid shortcomings in practice.

Andrii Kostin, Deputy Head of the Odessa Region Bar Council, expressed his expectation that the proposals made will be considered by the Constitutional Commission, the President of Ukraine and MPs.

Serhii Chvankin, President of Kyiv District Court of Odesa, mentioned that it was necessary to include into Article 125 provisions on substitution of consultation with obtaining a positive conclusion (opinion) of the High Council of Justice and the Supreme Court of Ukraine.

The issue of judicial dismissal and termination of office was raised as well. Provision on termination of judicial office in connection with a guilty verdict against the judge having come into force, gave rise to ardent discussion.

Volodymyr Kutsenko, Head of the State Judicial Administration’s Territorial Unit in Odesa Oblast, drew attention to the provision on budgeting of the judiciary and suggested to introduce the provision making impossible to adopt regulations that would deteriorate financial support of courts and judges, in particular.

The next meeting of the the Regional Justice Sector Reform Council of Odesa Oblast is scheduled for February 2016.