Discussing implementation of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine

Rivne, 15-16 August 2016 – A series of regional round tables for judges, prosecutors, and lawyers held in Rivne to present and discuss the Special report of the Ombudsperson on results of the pilot monitoring of implementation of the new Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine by Kyiv courts.

IMG 2215hkgh76576Monitoring of CPC implementation in court proceedings was conducted from 5 July 2014 till 15 February 2015 by the Ombudsperson's Office and the Institute of Applied Humanitarian Research with support of UNDP Ukraine, the Council of Europe, and the US Embassy in Ukraine. It stated a number of systemic problems in CPC implementation, starting from organizational breaches and irrelevant adherence to professional standards of conduct to procedural problems.

About 80 participants – judges, prosecutors, and lawyers from Rivnenska, Volynska, and Zhytomyrska oblasts – participated in the all-over-Ukraine campaign on discussing problems of CPC implementation aimed on enhancing human rights protection in criminal justice.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Chairperson of the Higher Specialized Court of Ukraine for Civil and Criminal Matters Mr. Stanislav Kravchenko highlighted: "Without proper and unified practice of application, any legislative changes will not work properly. Moreover, the situation in Kyiv courts does not differ much from the situation at the subnational level."

Representative of the Ombudsperson's Office Ms. Lyubov Zhuravska noted that adoption of the new Criminal Procedural Code in 2012 became the most significant step and starting point for criminal justice reform. To this end, relevant understanding of CPC norms and its proper application by the main actors - judges, prosecutors and lawyers - are crucial for the future establishment of the system and its further reform.

IMG 22167868jhbjhjKeeping this in mind, the Ombudsperson's Office in partnership with UNDP Ukraine, the Council of Europe, and the US Embassy in Ukraine involving experts of the Institute of Applied Humanitarian Research launched a series of roundtables, which should cover all regions of Ukraine and attract the attention of judges, prosecutors, and lawyers to the problem, not only to present and discuss the monitoring findings, but also to seek a common approaches and ways to correct practices and improve legislation.

Thus, improvement of systemic problems does not always require changes to the current legislation, but can be solved by changing practice of application, but sometimes the very practice indicates legislative gaps. In this sense, vision and position of the main actors of the process are crucially important noted Coordinator of UNDP Project on Support of the Ombudsperson's Office Ms. Svitlana Kolyshko.