On June 18, 2018, the Court of Appeal of Odessa region hosted the first meeting of judges and employees of the court staff with the Judge, Deputy President of Amsterdam District Court, a member of the board of judges, and a member of the board of the Netherlands Foundation “Judges for judges” and an expert of the European Center for training of judges Esther De Roy, who will work for a week in the Court of Appeal of Odessa region and in the district courts of Odessa within the framework of the international project “Court, citizens, society, state: cooperation for change” as an international expert on court administration.
The international project “Court, citizens, society, state: cooperation for change” was introduced in May of this year at the initiative of the Court of Appeal of Odessa region with the support of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Government and Odessa regional organization “All-Ukrainian public Organization” Сommittee of voters of Ukraine” in order to introduce common transparent and understandable standards for the administration of justice and ensure its organization at the European level.
Tatiana Shevyrina, a teacher of Odessa regional branch of the National School of Judges of Ukraine, a judge of Ochakovsky City District Court of Mykolaiv region, was also invited to the Court of Appeal as the coordinator of the international project.
Deputy President of Odessa region Court of Appeal Andriy Drishlyuk during the meeting presented a project aimed at forming civil society’s perception of the court as a state institution, the main purpose of which is to protect the rights and legitimate interests of individuals and legal entities and the state, increase the level of legal awareness and legal culture of representatives of the judicial system and the population of the region, the formation of new information links within the judicial system, as well as between the court, society and the state. During his report, Andriy Drishlyuk stressed that it’s impossible to solve these tasks without improving judicial administration, which is one of the priorities of judicial reform and one of the key elements of strengthening the rule of law in Ukraine.
Tatyana Shevyrina showed the audience the results of an anonymous survey of attorneys and lawyers practicing in Odessa region regarding the quality of work of the courts of Odessa region, and provided a brief analysis of the data obtained. The results of the survey show that the majority of respondents generally quite positively assess the organization of the region courts activities, but note some systemic shortcomings that negatively affect the formation of public opinion about the effectiveness of the courts, and, as a result, undermine the authority of the court and trust in it.
During the meeting with the court staff, Ester De Roy expressed hope for fruitful cooperation and noted that during her visit at the court of Appeal and District Courts of Odessa she intends to conduct a series of interviews with judges and employees of court apparatuses to identify and study urgent problems that arise in the course of the court’s work. She also intends to make suggestions for overcoming these problems through the introduction of innovative forms and methods of judicial administration, establishing internal communication both between divisions of one court and between courts in the region, forming common standards and practices of functioning of courts within Odessa region and their implementation in the future into the activities of Ukraine judicial system.