Council of Europe: Ukraine needs judicial reforms
The Council of Europe recommends more reforms in the Ukrainian judicial system. Based on the findings of Thomas Hammarberg gained during his visit to Ukraine, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights said that the national authorities should take substantial steps to better address these problems.
“Systemic deficiencies in the functioning of the Ukrainian judicial system seriously hinder the enjoyment of human rights,” said Mr. Hammarberg. He visited Ukraine from November 19 to November 26, 2011.
According to a press release of the Council of Europe, the official recommends to simplify the overall organization of the judiciary and to clarify the respective roles and jurisdiction of different levels in the court system, in particular at the cassation level.
“Concrete measures are also needed to increase transparency of the judicial system and make it more open to public scrutiny,” shows the press release.
The judiciary is still vulnerable to external factors, including of a political nature. “Decisive action is needed on several fronts to remove the factors which render judges vulnerable and weaken their independence. The authorities should carefully look into any allegations of improper political or other influence or interference in the work of judicial institutions and ensure effective remedies.”
Mr. Hammarberg calls upon the Ukrainian authorities to establish fair procedures and criteria related to the appointment and dismissal of judges. He wants changes in the structure of the High Council of Justice, which currently does not correspond to international criteria, and the provision of quality on-going training for judges, including on the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights.
Ukraine joined the Council of Europe in November 1995.