Wednesday, March 31, 2010

President emphasizes the need for judicial reform

"The country faces a very important task: to work out the concept of judicial reform and to prepare the appropriate legislation under this program", said Viktor Yanukovych.

The President said that the meeting is a good start for comprehensive discussion on reforming justice system. "Together we have started this discussion, we see the directions and must continue it", he said adding also that the following meetings should end with adoption of specific decisions to be realized further on.

"We will seek mechanisms that would allow us under the current Constitution and legislation to move forward in solving pressing issues. We must not stop whatever it takes. I don’t believe that with political will it was impossible to implement judicial reform in 20 years. I hope that together we will do much", - the President said.

"Together we must build a strong modern country with perfect laws, where European democratic values and human rights would rule. The country respected in the world and able to provide legal protection to its citizens ", he said.

From his part Supreme Court Chairman Vasyl Onopenko also praised today's meeting. "This is the first meeting in many years when we actually can communicate openly and talk over the issues that concern us", he said, adding also that Supreme Council of Justice is the most competent legal authority in the country, which includes judges, professional lawyers and representatives of different branches of government.

Justice Minister Oleksandr Lavrynovych expressed confidence that today the Supreme Council of Justice has sufficient authority. Instead, effective mechanisms for their utilization should be provided.

"I do not think that the Supreme Council of Justice has little authority. If this authority is backed up by reliable mechanisms and utilized at a high level, they are a very great power and can influence the actual formation of judges corps in Ukraine as well as prosecutors corps", Minister Lavrynovych said.

"I am sure that with the support of the Head of State, with presence of the political will, formed today by the Government and parliamentary majority, we will be able to find solutions that would make judicial system more open for the citizen", said Oleksandr Lavrynovych.

Member of the Supreme Council of Justice Stepan Havrysh said at the meeting: "In all civilized countries judges are usually nominated by the Supreme Council of Justice and appointed by the President. I think we should hold a broad discussion on making the model of judicial power in Ukraine successful and real defender of democratic processes in the country”.

Following the meeting, the President and Supreme Council of Justice members will sign an assignment protocol.