Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
The right to a fair trial

Yushchenko submits two draft laws on judicial reform to parliament


President Yushchenko has submitted two draft laws which are new versions of the current laws “On the court system” and “On the status of judges”. This is the next step in the court reform which the President initiated.

The draft law “On introducing amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On the court system” is aimed at refining the system of courts of general jurisdiction in accordance with European standards. This includes introducing higher courts of civil and criminal jurisdiction, the establishment of circuit courts and gradually elimination of military courts.

In addition, the authority of the head of the court is significantly reduced, for example, as regards allocation of cases and bonuses, giving leave, resolving issues of housing and social security.

Among the innovations proposed by the draft law “On introducing amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On the status of judges” are an improved system for selecting staff, and refining the procedure for bringing disciplinary charges against judges. In the case of judges appointed for the first time, it is planned to have an open competitive system and training in the National School of Judges (at present this is the Academy of Judges of Ukraine). A clear and exhaustive list is also established of grounds for disciplinary proceedings against judges, including dismissal.

The given draft laws were prepared and approved by the National Commission for the Strengthening of Democracy and the Rule of Law back in July this year. The Supreme Court then presented its proposals for the draft laws.  The latter introduce the main provisions of the Strategy plan for improving the justice system to ensure fair trial in Ukraine in accordance with European standards which was drawn up by the National Commission and approved through Presidential Decree  N 361/2006 from 10 May 2006.

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