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Chairman a.i. of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Viktor Shyshkin met with the Director of Human Rights in the Council of Europe's Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law Christos Giakoumopoulos
On August 29, 2014 Chairman a.i. of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Viktor Shyshkin met with the Director of Human Rights in the Council of Europe's Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law ChristosGiakoumopoulos. The meeting was attended by the Manager of the Council of Europe Project “Strengthening the independence, efficiency and professionalism of the judiciary in Ukraine” Andrii Kavakin, and Acting Head of the Secretariat of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Larysa Biriuk.
The Council of Europe is closely monitoring the developments in Ukraine and is ready to assist our country in the field of judicial reform. For this reason Christos Giakoumopoulos was interested in ways in which the Council of Europe should labour as well as views of the Ukrainian side on the prospects of judicial reform and problems that need to be solved in the near future, considering the Law of Ukraine "On Restoring confidence in the judicial system of Ukraine" adopted in April 2014.
On the request of the guest Viktor Shyshkin outlined his vision of ways, which, in his opinion, are in need of most attention – these are the procedures for selection and appointment of judges. According to the judge, the organisational structure of the domestic legal proceedings, which had been introduced in 2001 and improved by 2010, demonstrated its efficiency and today does not require any radical changes. This is the system of selection of judges and the procedure for the formation of bodies that will be "judges over judges", i.e. the High Council of Judges and the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine that require improvements. One of the key elements of this system should be a democratic procedure of transparent discussion of candidates for the office of judge with the compulsory public participation. “Citizens must know whom they will “receive” as a judge”, said Viktor Shyshkin. It is in this regard, he said, the assistance of European partners would be useful for Ukraine.
The sides also exchanged views on the need to improve the quality of decisions that are made by the Ukrainian courts of general jurisdiction. To improve the situation in this course, it is important not only to ensure the transparency of appointment of judges, but also to improve legal training for judges and law enforcement officials, Viktor Shyshkin was convinced. To achieve this, it is necessary to eliminate gaps in training programs for judges and to focus on a comprehensive study of the philosophy of law, social and psychological aspects of justice, that is to work both on the technique of legal proceedings and its ethics and change the consciousness of judges.
Christos Giakoumopoulos agreed with Viktor Shyshkin and thanked him for his philosophical approach to the reform of the judicial system. The Council of Europe representative expressed his willingness to work with the Ukrainian partners to make success in this field.