Local judges, experts and NGOs agreed that public trust in the courts must be restored at a DRI debate on Ukraine’s judicial reforms in Vinnytsya. Greater transparency and public engagement on the reforms could help to promote trust, and ongoing public scrutiny of their implementation should be encouraged. Transparency could be further supported through the widespread use of digital technologies both within government and judicial system.
The justice reforms are a comprehensive process, which interconnect with other ongoing reforms on prosecution and penitentiary systems and the bar. Nazar Martyniuk, Chair of the Ukrainian Bar Association in Vinnytsya, said legal professionals were mostly concerned about transparency, simplification and acceleration: “Electronic services must restore the citizens’ trust in the government. This is where the Ministry of Justice is moving in the proper direction”. More and more services are being made available online by the Ministry of Justice.
14 judges from Vinnytsya participated applied to sit on the country’s new Supreme Court. Anatoliy Krivosheya, speaker judge of the Vinnytsya Court of Appeal who also applied to sit on the Supreme Court, welcomed the process of open competitive testing of candidates. “In my opinion, the competitive selection of judges is an appropriate improvement”. The Public Council for Integrity (PCI), composed of representatives of the civil society, has been newly created to support the High Qualification Commission of Judges to ensure professional ethics and integrity in judicial appointments. The members of the PCI called upon the participants to actively provide available information on candidates for the position as judge through a newly created website of the PCI, www.grd.gov.ua
The contributors to the discussion were: Serhiy Petukhov, Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine on European Integration, Nazar Martyniuk, Chairman of the Ukrainian Bar Association Branch in Vinnytsya oblast, Anatoliy Krivosheya, speaker judge of the Vinnytsya Court of Appeal, Roman Marusenko and Natalia Sokolenko both members of the Public Council of Integrity.
TV story about the event can be watched here