In 2018, CILC, the Ukrainian Centre of Policy and Legal Reform (CPLR) and the Law School of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) in Lviv joined forces to strengthen the justice sector in Western Ukraine. In this second Peer 2 Peer project, they assisted several courts in adjusting their processes to facilitate a way of working that responds more neatly to the expectations of court users. CPLR, CILC and UCU are proud to have made a positive contribution to strengthening the rule of law in Western Ukraine by designing tailor-made workshops, trainings and working group sessions in the last three years.
This targeted support helped several courts in achieving a higher standard of service delivery and in becoming more court user oriented. Evaluation forms show a high level of appreciation for the implemented activities. Participants most welcomed the practical setup, usefulness to their daily tasks and pragmatic approach of the project team and involved Ukrainian and Dutch experts.
A tangible result of the work of the last months is the development of several video productions to raise awareness about the functioning of courts in Ukraine. A TV program on the right to a public hearing was produced and broadcasted on the First Western TV Channel in September 2021. Also, three videos were produced about the principle of openness of court proceedings, the online access to court services, and rules about visiting courts. These videos were distributed to courts, the State Court Administration and several NGOs for publication on their websites and screening in court buildings.
The online delivery mode of the project had a positive impact on the last implementation phase of the project, as it enabled the Ukrainian and Dutch colleagues to have regular moments of experience-sharing. One of the main lessons learned however, is that not all types of activities are suitable the be conducted online. It was for instance difficult to stimulate open conversations about the predicaments and ethical dilemmas legal professionals face in an online regime. The project team continues to explore new ways to deliver this relevant training course in the future. Lastly, the project team learned that a small-scale project in a specific region can feed into a larger initiative on the national scale. In the framework of the new Dutch-Ukrainian Matra project Judiciary and Society in Ukraine elements of this small-scale project will be complemented.
This project was funded by the Netherlands Embassy in Kyiv.