On 19 March 2018 Supreme Court (Ukraine), Judicial Reform Council (Ukraine), and the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna with the support of the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine organized the information event: “Fair Justice for All: Providing Impetus to Radical Changes in Ukraine’s Judiciary” at the OSCE headquarters in Vienna
The focus of the event was the justice sector reform in Ukraine, aimed at bringing Ukraine’s judiciary in line with European and international standards and at strengthening public trust in the justice system. Establishment of an independent, credible and professional judiciary, which ensures effective and efficient protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, is the key objective.
Oleksiy Filatov, Deputy Head of the Administration of the President of Ukraine, Judicial Reform Council Co-ordinator and Secretary of the Constitutional Commission, outlined the main achievements at the current stage of judicial reform, including legislative measures, which allowed for launching a new Supreme Court, enhancing fair trial rights, eradicating political influences on the judiciary.
Serhiy Koziakov, Chair of the High Qualification Commission of Judges, made a presentation on an open and transparent competitive procedure of the selection to the highest court in the country. This experience could be useful for other OSCE participating States that would like to see more involvement of the NGOs and more transparency in the procedures of selection of judges.
The members of Supreme Court who were selected through the newly established procedures presented their points of views and experiences.
Vsevolod Kniazev, Judge of the Supreme Court and Secretary of the Grand Chamber stated that the judicial reform offered new opportunities but also posed new challenges to the judiciary. Prior to the reform the national legal system suffered from systemic failures in ensuring coherence of judicial practices. The weak ties and co-ordination between the then existing specialised courts, and absence of an adequate mechanism to solve jurisdictional conflicts posed a significant challenge to the consistency of judicial decisions across different jurisdictions.
Judge of the Supreme Court Tetiana Antsupova emphasized that the judiciary should play an important role in ensuring protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. In order to strengthen this role, key components of the justice system such as the quality of justice, independence and effectiveness of the judiciary, need to be ensured. The ultimate goal of the reform is to ensure fair trial rights and effective national judicial remedies for human rights violations. The launch of the new Supreme Court has produced enabling environment for the new judiciary to become genuine guardians of human rights.
Anna Vronska, Judge of the Supreme Court, outlined that one of the main markers of the investment attractiveness of any country's economy is the issue of protecting investors' rights. The more reliable such protection is, the easier it is to attract foreign investment in the development of the economy, the more confident the business feels. Courts play crucial role in ensuring investors’ rights protection, A.Vronska stated.
After the presentations the panellists answered questions of the representatives of the OSCE diplomatic community.