Judicial reform: Real consequences for Ukrainians

Author : Yuriy Odarchenko

Source : 112 Ukraine

Instead of implementing a real judicial reform, Ukrainian government does its best to put the judicial branch of government under an absolute control of the president
23:17, 7 December 2017

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Just court is the basis for the state functioning. But, instead of a real judicial reform, Ukrainian government does its best to put the judicial branch of government under an absolute control. The slogans of reform are trying to hide the dominance of the president and the executive power. Changes in procedural codes make judicial proceedings inaccessible to people.

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First, the purpose of what the government is doing is changing the composition of the Supreme Court. For the first time in the history of Ukraine, all 120 judges of the highest judicial level were appointed personally by one person, based on a single criterion - loyalty. And although there are "competitive principles", in reality these people will receive direct instructions from President’s Administration.

Secondly, the trials are actually closed. The court will be able to restrict media access without any motivation, because the new Codes provide for the possibility to prohibit shooting if it "interferes with justice". How exactly – the mechanism is not explained. A huge layer of cases will now be considered without calling the parties.

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Thirdly - there is a completely incomprehensible concept of "experts in the field of law." Now any judge can invite an "expert" who will motivate the court decision. Why judge cannot be an expert in the field of law? There is a violation of the proceedings - some specialists who will help to make decisions appear. It generally brings associations with the Middle Ages, when the position of a judge was bought or provided for the origin - they were really given to the aid of experts, because they did not understand the law. And today this gives the judges the opportunity to step back from the decision and be motivated by the expert's opinion.

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Well, finally, appeals to the court become more and more expensive. The judicial fee was already high enough - not every person can now afford paying $60 so easily to file an elementary lawsuit in court. And today any documents, any requests should be paid. This will lead to the fact that the courts will be available only to wealthy people. The access to cassation becomes 80% more expensive, almost all privileges for payment of court fees are abolished, additional payments are introduced. For example, if you are suing, you must pay an "advance" to recover the defendant's possible costs in case he wins. If you did not make such an advance, it means that you automatically lost the case.

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In my opinion, now the judicial branch of government, instead of moving to independence and being a mechanism for establishing justice in society, will remain in the same corrupt and dependent state as it was in the days of the past power.

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