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Delegation representing the National School of Judges of Ukraine on a working visit to Trier, Cologne and Düsseldorf

Published: March 18, 2016

The Ukrainian delegation in Trier with Stefan Tratz (in the centre of the photo), Director of the German Judicial Academy, and Wolfram Hertig from the IRZ (on the right)The Ukrainian delegation in Trier with Stefan Tratz (in the centre of the photo), Director of the German Judicial Academy, and Wolfram Hertig from the IRZ (on the right)

From 14 to 18 March, a delegation representing the National School of Judges of Ukraine visited various judicial training centres in Trier, Cologne and Düsseldorf. The delegation was led by the Rector of the School of Judges, Mykola Onishchuk, who was Minister of Justice for Ukraine from 2007 to 2009. Other participants in this working visit included Zenovii Kholodniuk, Director of the Ukrainian State Judicial Administration, and Valentyna Ustymenko, a member of the High Judicial Qualifications Commission.

The expert discussions were opened by the Director of the German Judicial Academy, Stefan Tratz, who welcomed the guests to Trier and presented the German model of judicial training. The delegation then went on to learn about the basics of German legal training at the University of Cologne. The welcome speech for the talks in the Ministry of Justice for the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany was delivered by Secretary of State, Karl-Heinz Krems, and Ulrich Becker, President of the regional Law Examinations Board. The focus of the talks at the Ministry of Justice was on the issue of selecting, recruiting and promoting judges and also on procedures for state law examinations.

The Ukrainian guests with delegation leader, Mykola Onishchuk (front centre) and the President of the regional Law Examinations Board, Ulrich Becker (front right), in front of the Ministry of Justice in Düsseldorf The Ukrainian guests with delegation leader, Mykola Onishchuk (front centre) and the President of the regional Law Examinations Board, Ulrich Becker (front right), in front of the Ministry of Justice in Düsseldorf

These subjects, as well as a particular focus on legal traineeships (the German "Referendariat"), were also on the programme during the subsequent intensive full-day expert discussions at the Higher Regional Court of Cologne. There, the representatives of the Ukrainian justice system were welcomed by the President of the Court, Peter Kamp, and Vice-President Christian Schmitz-Justen.

In view of the intense constitutional reforms that are currently underway in Ukraine, legal training and case law - including in connection with the issues of selecting and promoting judges - are a high priority. The working visit to Germany provided plenty of inspiration in this respect.