By Lino Brosius
On 19 and 20 June 2018 a round table on probation information and tailored sanctioning for Ukrainian public prosecutors and judges took place in Kiev. CILC and CJS organised this two-day meeting together with the Ukrainian probation service, which focused on:
- creating awareness among prosecutors and judges about the work of the Ukrainian probation service
- discussing how the Ukrainian probation service can provide relevant advice that allows prosecutors and judges to make optimal use of the sentencing options they have
Experts from the Norwegian Mission of Rule of Law Advisers to Ukraine (NORLAU) also participated in this multilateral discussion that allowed to compare the advantages of different probation systems.
Prosecutors from various offices in the Kiev region took active part in the discussion and indicated that they don’t yet see the added value of the probation reports. They have the impression that the probation service collects the same information that the prosecution service collects, and that the service replicates their efforts. The judges in the round table stressed that the current probation reports don’t have the level of detail they would like to see. Judges in Ukraine face an extensive workload and are cautious not to render more work for themselves. Against this background it is all the more relevant that the Ukrainian probation service soon starts to deliver reports that add value for judges and prosecutors.
Together with their Dutch and Norwegian colleagues, the Ukrainian judges and prosecutors reviewed translated Dutch and Norwegian pre-trial reports. They agreed that detailed and relevant pre-trial reports like these could make their work more efficient. It would allow judges to read all the relevant information about the circumstances of the accused in one document (so they don’t have to browse through the entire case file). The benefit for prosecutors would be that they could swiftly (re-)direct police officers to other investigations.
Mid-July 2018, a second round table will be held on the topic of probation information and tailored sanctioning with representative of all actors in the criminal jusitce chain. In parallel with these round tables, the Matra project works with probation officers on specific skills training for preparing pre-trial reports.
The Matra project Probation and alternative sanctions in Ukraine is funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It aims at making probation in Ukraine operational by:
- strengthening the capacity of the probation service to deliver a quality probation output
- promoting the use of alternatives for incarceration
- increased support for probation and alternative sanctions among citizens
All pictures courtesy of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine