Ukraine // The meaning of the core values of the judiciary

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By Lino Brosius

Implications of the core values of justice for the day-to-day work and life of judges in Ukraine and the Netherlands

“Core values don’t make the judiciary trustworthy. It is up to the judiciary to make these values trustworthy.”

Understanding what impartiality, integrity, independence, reserve and diligence mean every day was at the heart of a two-day event, hosted by the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) in Lviv. In close collaboration with the National School of Judges of Ukraine, CILC and its partners, the Centre of Policy and Legal Reform (CPLR) and UCU, facilitated a discussion between Ukrainian and Dutch judges and legal experts on professional conduct and public trust.

The Code of Judicial Ethics of the Council of Judges of Ukraine and the working group report on Judicial Ethics of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary mention principles, values and qualities that guide the conduct of judges, both inside the court and elsewhere. In discussing a series of judicial moral dilemmas, using an online quiz tool and breakout sessions, the peers collectively translated these ‘words on paper’ to their day-to-day work and life as judges. One of the conclusions of this event was that the core values of the judiciary require constant attention, as the context determines how these values work.

Judges from administrative and general jurisdiction courts of the first instance and appellate level in the Lviv region actively participated in this discussion. Judicial ethics specialist professor Jonathan Soeharno and senior justice Ruth van der Pol joined CILC project manager Lino Brosius on this mission that further strengthened the legal cooperation of the Netherlands with courts in this region of Ukraine.

Next to the peer discussion at UCU, the mission program included a meeting at the 8th Appellate Administrative Court in Lviv and a visit to the Chervonohrad District Court in the Lviv region. The Dutch guests used these side visits to talk about the effects of the ongoing judicial reform effort, started under the previous administration and reinforced by the current one. They also got a better understanding of the daily work and the working environment of their Ukrainian peers.

The peer discussion on the core values of the judiciary is part of the Ukrainian-Dutch Matra project Peer to Peer – Service-oriented Courts in Western Ukraine. This project is funded by the Netherlands Embassy in Kyiv.

For more information about this project and its upcoming events, please feel free to contact CILC project manager Lino Brosius.


Pictures courtesy of CPLR, 8th Appellate Administrative Court and the Chervonohrad District Court.

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