The project Peer 2 Peer: Service-oriented courts in Western Ukraine was jointly designed by CILC and its Ukrainian partners the Centre of Policy and Legal Reform (CPLR) and the Law School of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU). The project goal is to strengthen the rule of law in Ukraine by providing support to several district courts in becoming more court-user oriented. CPLR, CILC and UCU work on achieving this goal by assessing the current state of play in pilot courts, designing targeted workshops and trainings, organising a working visit to the Netherlands, and conducting peer discussions on the core values of the judiciary.
- Pilot courts provide more relevant and accurate explanations of court work to media representatives
- Increased understanding among pilot court representatives of the tensions in the Ukrainian judicial context
- Increased application by courts in the pilot region of a public outreach & media strategy and guidelines for service-oriented courts.
In their activities CILC, CPLR and UCU assist courts in Western Ukraine in adjusting their work processes, facilitating a way of working that responds more clearly to the desires and expectations of court users. For strengthening the court system, the project works with pilot courts in the Lviv region, the Ternopil region and the Ivano-Frankivsk region. First activities focused on fortifying the position of these courts as a service provider and on bringing these courts closer to the people. The necessity of living up to high professional standards was central to these meetings between Dutch and Ukrainian peers. Colleague to colleague discussions about the implications of the core values of the judiciary for the day-to-day work and life of judges in Ukraine and the Netherlands are also part of the project plan. During inclusive practical sessions, Ukrainian and Dutch colleagues will ‘translate’ these values into professional conduct, both inside the court and elsewhere. Professional conduct and public trust are closely linked to communication, as information about the way a court works is of imminent importance to foster confidence. CPLR, CILC and UCU are convinced that a more open approach to media and the public at large will positively contribute to the perception of the court as a valuable government institution.