The Law of Ukraine “On Ensuring the Right to a Fair Trial” has amended the Law on the Judiciary and Status of Judges to introduce a novel and highly significant change to criminal, civil, and administrative procedure in the courts. Article 11 explicitly authorizes anyone to use portable devices to photograph, make a video recording, or make an audio recording of any court proceeding, without obtaining permission.
The EU Project “Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine” in partnership with the Open Court Project and Ukrainian Advocates’ Association initiated series of trainings “Advocacy in the Digital and Video Age”. The objective of this initiative is to advise Ukrainian advocates how the practice of their profession is going to change with video recordings available on-line, so that they can better address current opportunities and challenges.
Main topic of two training sessions, organized in Poltava and Kharkiv on 14-15 March 2016, was the way legal professional perform their work in the period of development of digital and video technologies. Specifically, the participants to trainings learned how to make video recordings of court proceedings and create video dossier of proceedings, and of legal professionals such as judges, prosecutors, and advocates.
The experts of the EU Project “Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine” Mark Segal, Oksana Tsymbrivska and Leonid Lazebny informed how the mass media, civil society and advocates can use the Declaration on the Protection of Human Rights in Criminal Cases to ensure openness and transparency of the courts. They advised the advocates how to better formulate messages in the era of digital technologies and how to use the instrument of non-verbal communications.
“Video recordings can help legal professionals improve their performance and better serve the interests of their clients. They can promote professionalism and advance the cause of legal reform by using publicity to bring practice into compliance with the law and international standards, and by stimulating social activism,” – noted Mark Segal, Key Expert of EU Project “Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine”.