On 7 August, the Second Strategic Judiciary Workshop on Ukraine Judiciary Development Strategy was held in the premises of the Supreme Court of Ukraine on the initiative of the Council of Judges of Ukraine and the EU-funded Project “Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine”.
The workshop participants included representatives of the Council of Judges of Ukraine, State Judicial Administration of Ukraine, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, NGOs and the EU. Virgilijus Valancius, Team Leader, “Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine” Project, presented the Project goals and objectives. He shared his opinion regarding the process of judiciary sector reform. “Now it is very important to demonstrate to the society that judiciary system is changing towards independence and transparency,” – he noted. According to Valentyna Symonenko, the Head of the Council of Judges of Ukraine, this working meeting is a start for systemic reform of the justice sector of Ukraine. “Here the task for the judiciary is to become independent and accountable to the society. The judiciary development strategy is a systemic approach to the reforms demanded by the society. The Council of Judges of Ukraine has to involve all the stakeholders for participating in this process,” – she stressed. Mykola Onischuk, Rector of the National School of Judges of Ukraine, noted a significance of synchronization of activities with “Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine” Project. “Beginning of the judiciary reform has inspired high expectations in the society. That is why the new strategy is valuable because it pays attention to the issues not included before. In particular, a self-reliance and funding of the judiciary,” – believes Mr. Onyschuk.
The EU experts told the participants of the event about directions of the judiciary development in Ukraine, such as strategic planning, budgeting and communication within the Council of Judges and State Judiciary Administration of Ukraine; development of effective staff management system; improvement of judges’ training systems; improvement of control for ethic and disciplinary norms, etc. In addition, the experts presented the topic on practices of councils of judges in the EU member-states. The participants were involved into the working groups to specify key directions for the reforms. As a result, the stakeholders already agreed on the composition of the working group responsible for developing the judiciary reform strategy. The group will include the representatives of the judiciary, prosecution, advocacy, civil society and anti-corruption experts. The judiciary sector reform strategy will be delivered by October 2014. This document should become a part of the coherent justice sector reform strategy for Ukraine.
Background information he ongoing EU-funded project “Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine” aims to support consolidated justice sector-wide reforms in Ukraine. The project directly involves EU Member states and will continue for 38 months. The project brings together all sector stakeholders in order to assist them with the development of the joint sector-wide reform strategy. The strategy will be implemented through sector coordination and will include implementation provisions backed by a multi-year financial commitment from the Ukrainian Government. The Project is jointly implemented by a Consortium led by Justice Coopération Internationale (JCI)
Communications Expert at “Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine”,