Ukraine - annual report 2016

Working visit led by Mykola Onishchuk (front centre), Director of the Ukraine National School of Judges, on the topic of lawyers’ training in Germany, here at the Cologne Higher Regional Court

Working visit led by Mykola Onishchuk (front centre), Director of the Ukraine National School of Judges, on the topic of lawyers’ training in Germany, here at the Cologne Higher Regional Court

Strategic Framework

Legal Policy Starting Point

The Ukrainian State President established a Constitutional Commission in March 2015. Following the commencement of its work on human rights, decentralisation and justice, an IRZ expert supported the content of its work. No majority has yet been achieved in Parliament for the proposed amendments to the Constitution with regard to decentralisation due to contentious regulations for the areas Donezk and Luhansk, although amendments to the Constitution to reform the judicial system were passed at the start of June 2016 and entered into force on 30 September 2016. This took place at the same time as the new Act “On the Courts System and the Status of Judges”. In accordance with this, citizens can, after recourse to the courts has been exhausted, have the constitutionality of a statute which has been applied in particular proceedings reviewed by the Constitutional Court.

The courts system will be reformed by the end of March 2017, in particular through the new introduction of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Economic Court, the Supreme Administrative Court and the Supreme Specialist Court for civil and criminal matters will be integrated into the new Supreme Court as courts of appeal. The former Supreme Court of Ukraine will be abolished. The new Supreme Court will be equipped with up to 200 judges, whereas candidates for these positions are now amongst other things required to disclose their financial situation in the course of an examination of their qualifications. In the reporting year, the IRZ was awarded the Twinning Project “Strengthening the Institutional Capacity of the Supreme Court of Ukraine in Human Rights Protection at the National Level”, which supports the Supreme Court of Ukraine and is set to commence in 2017.

In addition, the intention is to create two Supreme Courts for Intellectual Property and Anti-Corruption cases by the end of 2017. From the start of 2017 onwards, the necessity of representation by a lawyer in court will also be introduced step by step. The independent administrative court system in Ukraine, which has existed since 2005, is now also anchored in the Ukrainian Constitution. At the start of October 2016, significant alterations to the enforcement law entered into force after preliminary work which in some cases lasted for years. In accordance with these, the institution of the private bailiff was introduced for at least some of the claims to be enforced, together with a register of debtors. Provision is also made for the possibility of accession to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court within three years.

Overall Concept

The IRZ has already advised Ukraine on the subjects specified above over a long period, and numerous consultations in the reporting year 2016 were also devoted to these focal issues of constitutional and judicial reform. As changes already for the most part exist at the level of ordinary statutes, the decisive element will now be the drafting of subordinate legislative norms and their implementation in practice. The IRZ will therefore also continue its close support for Ukraine precisely in these areas in future.

Alongside this, cooperation with the Ukrainian administrative court system formed part of the agenda for 2016, as well as consultation on fighting corruption and practice-oriented further training for judges. Main cooperation partners were the Parliament, the Ministry of Justice, the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court of Ukraine and the courts at different instances in the regions of Ukraine, the Supreme Administrative Court, the General Prosecutor’s Office and the National School of Judges, as well as the newly established National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine.

The IRZ likewise continued its successful cooperation with the National Ivan Franko University in Lviv for the promotion of young lawyers. The seventh annual course of the German-language supplementary introductory studies in German law has in the meantime begun.

As in previous years, the IRZ was supported by grants from the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and project funding from the German Federal Foreign Office.

Foci of Activity 2016

Constitutional Law / Human Rights and their Enforceability

  • Specialist discussions in Berlin with judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine on issues concerning the relationship between the Constitutional Court and the executive as well as the supranational courts, and on the introduction of the instrument of the constitutional complaint
  • Specialist discussions in Bonn with judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine on issues concerning the fundamental democratic constitutional order, the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights and the organisation of the courts
  • Working visit to Heidelberg and Strasbourg by representatives of the Ukrainian Association of Judges on the topic “The European Convention on Human Rights”
  • Specialist conference in Kiev on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the foundation of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine
  • Participation by a Ukrainian constitutional judge on the IRZ panel during an OSCE conference in Warsaw

Administration of Justice

  • Working visit to Trier, Düsseldorf and Cologne by a delegation from the National School of Judges of Ukraine on the topics “Legal examinations and the selection, assessment and further training of judges”
  • Study trip to Bonn, Düsseldorf and Cologne by a Ukrainian delegation on the topic of “Legal training in Germany”
  • Multilateral conference at the Lviv Appeal Court on the topic of press work, collisions of interest and court management (with the Cologne Higher Regional Court, the Cracow Appeal Court and Arnhem-Leeuwar-den Appeal Court)
  • Working visit by representatives of the Kiev Appeal Court to the Oldenburg Higher Regional Court and the Aurich Regional Court
  • Conference in Kiev on the topic “Developing the law” at the Supreme Court of Ukraine
  • Participation by Ukrainian judges at the multilateral conference of the Memorandum Group of the Association of Judges in Chişinău on the topic “Safeguarding the uniformity of case-law as a task for the supreme courts”
  • Working meeting at the IRZ in Bonn on the wording of the implementation ordinances for the new Ukrainian enforcement law
  • Specialist discussions for lawyers in Kiev on the regulation of the legal advice market, the monopoly of lawyers and professional liability
  • Specialist discussions for lawyers in Odessa on the topics “Free legal aid, the independence of judges and access to justice”
  • Second South Ukrainian Forum “Mediation and the Law” in Odessa
  • Further training seminar for judges in Dnipro on arbitration with the Ukrainian Association of Judges
  • Internship on the bailiffs’ system in Germany

Public Law

  • Twelfth German-Ukrainian colloquium on administrative procedure at the Rhineland-Palatinate Higher Administrative Court and the Koblenz Administrative Court
  • Seminar on administrative court procedure law and administrative procedure law at the Zaporishya Administrative Court
  • Participation by an Ukrainian IRZ expert at the GIZ Forum on administrative law in Leipzig
  • Repeated participation at internal consultations in Kiev by the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice on the draft Administrative Procedure Act

Criminal Law and Penitentiary Law

  • Further training and further specialist discussions in Kiev for investigators of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU)
  • Further training seminar in Kiev for judges on fighting corruption together with the Ukrainian Association of Judge
  • Specialist discussions in Kiev with the Department for Asset Recovery of the Ukrainian National Police
  • Participation by an IRZ expert at the international conference in Kiev of the Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s Office on the role and reform of the Public Prosecutor’s Office
  • Further training seminar for judges in Chernivtsi on criminal procedure law with the Ukrainian association of Judges
  • Working visit in Wustrau and Berlin by representatives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine

Basic and Further Training

  • Supplementary introductory studies in German law with European reference at the National Ivan Franko University in Lviv
  • Research stay in Germany by the best graduate of the IRZ supplementary studies in German law at the University of Lviv
  • Working visit to Germany, Passau and Munich by representatives of the University of Lviv on the topic of basic training for lawyers

EU Project

Outlook

The implementation of the constitutional amendments specified above in practice, not only in the field of the constitutional courts, but also in the entire judicial system, will certainly remain a major topic in the near future. In this context, the main issues will be the constitutional complaint, the new role of the Supreme Court, safeguarding the uniformity of case-law whilst maintaining the independence of the judiciary and issues of the disciplinary law of judges, the judgment system, the jurisdiction of the administrative courts, administrative procedure law, execution enforcement law and fighting corruption.

The IRZ will attempt not only to cooperate with judges, but also with the Supreme Council of Justice and academic staff. The IRZ’s work will continue to extend to the regions of Ukraine. The cooperation with the Ministry of Justice will receive particular attention. Cooperation with the Bar is also set to continue. If there is a need for consultation in the field of the preventative administration of justice by notaries, this can also be taken up following on from the work to date. Finally, the positive promotion of young lawyers with the study course at the University of Lviv will be continued.

Download the entire IRZ annual report in PDF format here: annual report 2016.

Ukraine - annual report 2015

Länderbericht Ukraine 2015Christian Lange, MP, and Renate Künast, MP, attending specialist discussions with constitutional court judges in Ukraine: Ihor Slidenko; Dr. Stefan Hülshörster, IRZ; Stanislaw Shevchuk; Oleksandr Kasminin; Jaroslav Vasylkevich, Head of the Secretariat of the Administrative Court of Ukraine (back left to right); Dr. Christof Weil, German Ambassador; Sergij Sas, then acting President of the Administrative Court of Ukraine; Renate Künast; Christian Lange; Martin Graf, German Embassy (front left to right)

Strategic framework

Legal policy starting point

The rule-of-law development of Ukraine focused on constitutional reform in 2015. The Constitutional Commission which was established by the President for this purpose is broken down into working parties on human rights, decentralisation and justice.

Public interest also continues to centre on the efforts in the fight against corruption. After a comprehensive package of laws had already been adopted in the autumn of 2014 on the fight against corruption, civil society is now observing the establishment of the institutions in question, in particular of the National Anti-Corruption Office of Ukraine, as well as of the Specialist Anti-Corruption Public Prosecution Office.

The reform efforts remain overshadowed by the unresolved conflict in the East of the country, albeit the military conflicts have now become less intense. Ukraine also held local elections in the autumn, with the exception of the Eastern regions. Cooperation with the IRZ has re-intensified once more in light of the extensive reforms which have been launched.

Overall concept

This year too, the IRZ's consultation focussed on the project entitled "Promoting the rule of law in Ukraine", funded from the budget of the Federal Foreign Office, with its five pillars of constitutional law, the judiciary, criminal law, public law and administrative courts, as well as combating corruption.

Cooperation was primarily stepped up in constitutional reform, and has focussed within this area both on decentralisation and on judicial reform. Since an IRZ expert was included in the group of advisors on the decentralisation working group, the IRZ was able to provide considerable support here.

A major step is likely to be the introduction of the constitutional complaint, provided for in the constitutional draft, on which the IRZ immediately started consultation. The continuing support for the Ukrainian administrative courts, which celebrated their tenth anniversary in 2015, was continued amongst other things by means of regional seminars in Ukraine and by the annual colloquium held at Koblenz Higher Administrative Court.

This year, the IRZ was able to further step up and successfully continue its cooperation with its main partners such as the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court, the Ministry of Justice, the Office of the Public Prosecutor General, etc.

The IRZ continued to promote young lawyers in 2015 with the conclusion of the fifth and the start of the sixth year of studies of the German-language supplementary introductory studies in German law at the National Ivan Franko University of Lvov. The IRZ was able to engage the Chairwoman of the Committee on Legal Affairs of the German Bundestag, Renate Künast, MP, to give the keynote speech on the occasion of the opening of the sixth year of studies. High-ranking discussions were also held in Kiev, amongst others by Christian Lange, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, and Dr. Stefanie Hubig, State Secretary at that Ministry.

Foci of activity in 2015

Constitutional law / human rights and their enforceability

  • Various advisory opinions on constitutional reform
  • Expert consultations at the sessions of the Constitutional Commission
  • First specialist constitutional discussions in Bonn with three constitutional court judges
  • Second specialist constitutional discussions with three constitutional court judges and the head of the administration of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine in Bonn on the topics of the constitutional complaint and the protection of social rights
  • Specialist discussions in Kiev by the Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, Christian Lange, and the Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Affairs of the German Bundestag, Renate Künast

Civil and commercial law

  • Attendance at the VIII Lemberg Forum entitled "Alternative dispute resolution"
  • Attendance at the "First Southern Ukrainian Forum on Mediation and the Law" in Odessa

Administration of justice

  • Specialist discussions in Kiev by the State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, Dr. Stefanie Hubig, in the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice et al.
  • Working visit to Karlsruhe and Leipzig by a delegation of the Supreme Court of Ukraine to the Federal Court of Justice, to the Federal Public Prosecutor General, as well as to the Federal Administrative Court
  • Attendance by representatives of Ukraine at the conference of the Judges' Associations in Chișinău
  • International conference at Lvov Appeal Court with judges of Cologne Higher Regional Court, of Arnhem Appeal Court and of Cracow Appeal Court
  • Specialist discussions on the start of cooperation at Kiev Appeal Court
  • Specialist discussions on mediation in cases of international child abduction in Kiev

Public law

  • 11th German-Ukrainian colloquium on administrative procedure law at Koblenz Higher Administrative Court and Administrative Court
  • Seminar on administrative procedure law at Poltava Administrative Court
  • Seminar in Kramatorsk on administrative procedure law
  • Specialist discussions in Kiev on the 10th anniversary of the Supreme Administrative Court of Ukraine
  • Specialist discussions in Lvov by Dr. Hendrik Hoppenstedt, MP, on decentralisation and on the law on local authorities

Penitentiary Law

  • Report on the new Ukrainian Act on Public Prosecutors
  • Report on the new Ukrainian anti-corruption legislation
  • Specialist discussions in Kiev with the Office of the Public Prosecutor General on the topic of asset recovery
  • Working visit to Wiesbaden, Mainz and Trier on the topic of "Further training for public prosecutors" in Germany
  • Attendance by a representative of the criminal law committee of the Federal Bar at the Lawyers' Forum on the topic of criminal defence in Kiev
  • Continuation of the work on a guide for public prosecutors
  • Drafting of a manual on the fight against corruption
  • EU project to Support Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine (EU grant) (further information p.)

Basic and further training

  • Supplementary introductory studies in German law at the National Ivan Franko University of Lvov
  • Research stay in Munich by the best graduate of the supplementary studies on the introduction to German law at the National Ivan Franko University Lvov
  • Summer course for the best graduate of the supplementary studies on the introduction to German law at the Foreign Language School of the National Ivan Franko University
  • Fifth IRZ "German law" summer school in Brühl and Bonn
  • Attendance by a representative of the Office of the Public Prosecutor General at the "German for legal experts" language course in Bonn

Outlook

The reforms of the Constitution and in the fight against corruption will also determine cooperation in 2016.

It is to be hoped that the work on the draft Administrative Procedure Act, which came to a standstill in 2015, will be taken up once again. Codified administrative procedure law would be highly beneficial not only as a substantive law foundation for the case-law of the administrative courts, but also as an important step in the fight against corruption.

Cooperation between Ukrainian and German judges will be stepped up, both at the level of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, and at the level of several appeal courts, as well as in cooperation with the Ukrainian Judges' Association.

The German-language supplementary studies on the introduction to German law, which is in considerable demand, are to be continued.

The IRZ will continue to support Ukraine on its path towards rule-of-law reforms in 2016 through intensive and trust-based cooperation in many relevant legal fields.

Ukraine - annual report 2013

Länderbericht Ukraine 2013Visit by Ukrainian administrative court judges to the Rhineland-Palatinate Land Parliament

General – Conceptual orientation

Legal policy starting point

Cooperation with Ukraine in 2013 was increasingly typified by the EU Association Agreement, the signing of which was initially planned and then cancelled by the Ukrainian Government at the last minute, as well as the ensuing mass protests against the Ukrainian leadership. The signing was planned to take place on 28/29 November 2013 at the "Eastern Partnership" summit in Vilnius. This development climaxed in the internationalscale "Crimean Crisis". As a matter of principle, the IRZ will continue to make intensive efforts to ensure that the dialogue will be maintained, and will support the development and strengthening of a state based on the rule of law orientated towards European legal standards.

Cooperation to date

There were three working visits by delegations of the Supreme Court from the civil senate, the commercial senate and the administrative senate to Germany in 2013. They primarily addressed questions of procedural law, in particular concerning the uniformity of case-law. As in the previous years, one further focus was placed on consultation on administrative procedural law, which was implemented together with the Supreme Administrative Court of Ukraine as well as the Ukrainian administrative courts. What is new is cooperation with the still young State Registration Service of Ukraine. The accompanying studies in German law held in German at the University of Lvov have become firmly established. The summer school, which was initially developed for Lvov students and offered in Germany, has now developed to become the IRZ summer school, attended by students as well as young legal experts from many partner states.

Major partners

  • Parliament
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Constitutional Court
  • Supreme Court
  • Supreme Administrative Court
  • Courts of the lower instances
  • Office of the Prosecutor General
  • State Registration Service
  • University of Lvov
  • Lvov Chamber of Trade and Industry

Foci of activity in 2013

Constitutinal law / human rights and their enforceability

  • Conference on the topic of "Protection of human rights by the constitutional courts" in Yalta
  • Trilateral German-Ukrainian-Moldovan conference with the Human Rights Commissioner of the Parliament of Ukraine and the Moldovan Ombudsman on the of topics of data protection and anti-discrimination in Kiev
  • Subsequent provision and translation of excerpts from the collection of rulings of the Federal Constitutional Court

Civil and commercial law

  • Working visit by the civil senate of the Supreme Court of Ukraine to Bonn and Cologne
  • Working visit by the commercial senate of the Supreme Court of Ukraine to Bonn and Düsseldorf
  • VI International Lemberg Forum entitled "Alternative dispute settlement methods" in Lvov
  • Lecture and discussion event on the topic of "Application of German law in international legal transactions" at the Lvov Chamber of Trade and Industry (together with the Federal Bar)
  • Participation by representatives of the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice, of the Supreme Court, of the Foreign Office, of the legal profession and of Academia at the international conference on the topic of "Fostering Cooperation through Hague Conventions" in Tbilisi
  • Participation by a representative of the Anti-Monopoly Committee of Ukraine at the 16th International Cartel Conference in Berlin
  • Participation by two German judges at a conference and specialist discussions on the "Hague Convention on the Civil Law Aspects of International Child Abduction" in Kiev

Administration of justice

  • Cooperation at the anniversary conference on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Supreme Court of Ukraine in Kiev
  • Conference on Ukrainian justice sector reform in Kiev
  • Working visit to Bonn and Cologne by a delegation from the State Registration Service of Ukraine on the topic of company registers
  • Participation by four representatives from Ukraine (Judges' Association, Supreme Administrative Court) at the conference of the Judges' Associations on the topic of administrative justice in Astana (Kazakhstan)

Public law

  • Specialist discussions on administrative procedure law at Odessa Administrative Court of Appeal
  • Ninth German-Ukrainian colloquium on administrative procedure in cooperation with the Higher Administrative Court of Rhineland-Palatinate and Koblenz Administrative Court
  • Working session of the senate for administrative cases of the Supreme Court of Ukraine on the reform of the Administrative Procedure Act of Ukraine in Fischbachau

Criminal law and the law on the prison system

  • Working visit by a delegation of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine to the Federal Office of Justice in Bonn on the topic of "Public prosecution case register"
  • Seminar for Ukrainian public prosecutors on international mutual assistance in criminal matters in Kiev, together with the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and the Federal Office of Justice
  • German-Polish-Ukrainian conference entitled "New tendencies in criminal procedure law" in Fischbachau in cooperation with the Institute of Eastern European Law

Basic and further training

  • Accompanying introductory studies in German law at the Centre for German Law at the National Ivan Franko University of Lvov
  • Third "German law" summer school in Brühl for graduates of the accompanying studies
  • Research stay at the University of Göttingen for the best graduate of the third year of the Lvov accompanying studies
  • Participation by the best graduate of the second year of the Lvov accompanying studies in the multilateral internship for public prosecutors
  • Participation by a representative of the National Ivan Franko University of Lvov at the "German for legal experts" language course at the Goethe Institute in Bonn

Outlook

Large numbers of Ukrainian partner institutions have stated in principle that they remain interested in consultation and expert exchange. It would be possible to have detailed discussions in 2014 on topics such as uniformity of case-law, administrative procedural law practice, topical constitutional issues, case-law, holding hearings, mediation, as well as the law on notaries and on land registries. In close coordination with the Federal Government, the IRZ is planning to launch a programme promoting the rule of law as soon as possible which is to cover amongst other things the pressing constitutional reform issues, the independence of the judiciary and the fight against corruption.