Law “On Ensuring the Right to a Fair Trial” Adopted

On December 12, Parliament adopted the Law of Ukraine “On Ensuring the Right to a Fair Trial”, launching the comprehensive judicial reform. The Law implements the majority of the Council of Europe bodies’ recommendations on judicial reform. At the same time, the Law retains, and even creates, certain risks for judicial system’s independence. Thus, the President’s and the Parliament’s unconstitutional authority to transfer judges both horizontally and vertically is preserved. Moreover, Parliament’s specialized committee gets the right to review judge candidates for life tenure and transfer without any review criteria (this provision did not exist in the draft approved in first reading). Additionally, the President and the Parliament Chair will sign official identification documents for judges and, in the President’s case, also for court presidents and their deputies, who are elected by meetings of judges in each court. Judges will also take their official oath in the President’s presence. A reference note concerning the implementation of European institutions’ recommendations can be found at this link.

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