Monday, May 31, 2010

President holds meeting of Working Group on Judiciary Reform

Opening the meeting President Yanukovych said that the draft bill is aimed at making judiciary more open to people and ensuring that it is more professional and defends human rights better.

From his part, Minister Lavrynovych said that at last the long work on preparation of the bill is complete. "Today we are to consider results of our common work on the new Law on Judiciary of Ukraine, which also contains a package of alterations to other laws. In particular, these are alterations to all four procedural codes, the laws “On the High Council of Justice”, “On Remuneration of Labor” and several others that are relevant to the new law on judiciary," he said.

Speaking about main tasks and objectives of this reform, Oleksandr Lavrynovych said that it must improve access of citizens to the judiciary. According to him, this could be achieved without altering the system of first instance courts, which according to procedural code, have the authority to consider cases of different jurisdiction. “These are cases, primarily in the field of administrative justice, that until now were considered only in specialized district courts," he said.

"Our suggestions, we present today, are to be reflected in all procedural codes and in the law itself. They apply to the time in which complaints are to be considered, reducing it to 30 days, and also provide abandoning the practice, when cases were submitted for a new trial in a first instance court, if the appellate court canceled the decision. Similarly, we propose banning re-cassation in Ukraine. Thus, we make substantial steps to ensure that judicial decisions are adopted within reasonable time and are constant," said Minister Lavrynovych.

"We had a long debate about what the judicial system should be like and our final decision was a compromise that allows significant improvement of the system without major changes in the system of first instance or appellate courts.

The changes modify only the system of third instance courts and by creating one high specialized court, which would consider civil and criminal cases as a cassation court, we make the whole system equal – the first instance, appellate level and High Cessation Court all work in all jurisdictions. At the same time, the Supreme Court, as judicial body of the highest authority, has all the powers to ensure unity of judicial practice," said Oleksandr Lavrynovych.