The EU Project “Support to Justice Sector Reform in Ukraine” co-organised the Round Table “Class Action: Ukrainian Prospects in the Lens of Foreign Experience” that took place on June 11 in the Supreme Court of Ukraine.
This event was organised in cooperation with the Supreme Court of Ukraine to learn international experience in class action application in EU member states and to discuss the need of implementation of such experience in Ukraine.
Among the participants to the Round Table were judges of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, the higher specialised courts, Ukrainian MPs, representatives of the ministries and agencies of the justice sector, as well as national and international legal experts. International experience in class action application was presented by Rimvydas Norkus, President of the Supreme Court of Republic of Lithuania, and Bert Maan, Judge of the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam.
The participant to the event have discussed the topics of legal protection under the rules of class action, problems and prospects of the class action institute adaptation in accordance with Ukrainian legal system, and use of class action by the civil society for restoration of the violated rights of numerous groups.
“Ukrainian legal system should respond to the new challenges and needs of society. That is why we would like to appeal to international and European experience for further adaptation and incorporation of the class action institute models,” – said Yaroslav Romaniuk, President of the Supreme Court of Ukraine. According to him, the Ukrainian courts consider annually about four million cases, so the introduction of class action model would help to increase performance of the judiciary.
“Justice system should be established in a way to respond quickly and consistently to the violations of human rights. Class action would considerably optimize the legal process. Today, Ukrainian courts are dealing with thousands of cases that could be eventually pooled in class actions. Implementation of this institute could strengthen substantially the voice of each individual plaintiff in such cases,” – said Virgilijus Valancius, Team Leader of the EU Project “Support to Justice Sector Reform in Ukraine”.
The class action institute existing in many European countries is mainly applied for damage recovery or material damage compensation. This model is considered to be the basis for protection of rights and legitimate interests of the plaintiffs. In the European countries, the most common is a corporative class action, where the civil society organizations are granted with the right to protect class interests. The class action institute also contributes to optimization and increased efficiency of legal remedy due to a burden relief of the judiciary.