New law on the judicial system will restrict access to the court


Maxim Kopeichykov from the law firm Illyash and Partners, speaking on the programme “The Main Thing” on the National TV channel UT-1, has criticized the Law on the Judicial System and Status of Judges”. He believes it will restrict the access of ordinary citizens to the courts.
The Law, for example, restricts people’s opportunity to appeal against what they see as unlawful rulings to the Supreme Court. There is now a decreased list of grounds for examination by the Supreme Court of the rulings issued by high specialised courts (economic, administrative, later also civil and criminal).
“Secondly, the High Court whose ruling is questioned decides effectively by itself whether to send the complaint to the Supreme Court. Thirdly, having found significant violations of norms of material law, the Supreme Court cannot pass a new ruling. It has the authority only to send the case for new examination to a first instance court.”
Mr Kopeichykov stresses that it is unlikely that the Supreme Court which has been stripped of the possibility of carrying out cassation reviews and has lost a considerable part of its powers will be able to perform the functions which Ukraine’s Constitution gives it.
The Law also makes significant amendments to procedural codes regarding timeframes for appeal, procedure for court proceedings, submission and the content of court applications. Most members of the public will simply not be able to do without the assistance of a lawyer under the new law.
He stresses however, that it is difficult to gauge all the dangers linked with this law. “It’s still unclear whether the law will begin working in the form in which it was passed”, he says.
As reported, on 27 July President Yanukovych signed the Law on the Judicial System and Status of Judges.
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