Ukraine will implement effective judicial reform that will guarantee the right of every citizen to a honest, independent and fair trial. This was stated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during the All-Ukrainian Forum "Ukraine 30. Development of Justice" in Kyiv.
The Head of State reminded that every government in Ukraine had promised to carry out judicial reform, but as a result the courts remained unreformed, corrupt and inefficient.
"We are set to break this vicious circle. An honest and fair court is exactly the part of my presidential program on which the implementation of many other parts largely depends," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
He stressed that the best anticorruption bodies lose their meaning if corrupt officials avoid fair punishment in the courts.
"At the legislative level, we can introduce the best conditions for attracting investment, but it will not work if the investor is not able to protect his investment right here in the Ukrainian court. In addition, successful judicial reform in Ukraine is a catalyst for our integration into the EU and NATO," the President added.
The President noted that ensuring the right to a fair and independent court is a basic principle of any democratic state.
"This is trust. This is a feeling of security and justice - those things that, unfortunately, have been in short supply for Ukrainians for a long time," Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.
The President also singled out the main problems of the judicial system. One of them is the lack of new judges, which leads to an excessive burden on the system and problems with access to justice.
"Due to the absence of almost a third of judges, citizens are forced to wait for months and sometimes years for their case to be heard," he said.
In this context, the Head of State stressed the importance of resuming the work of the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine and improving the procedure for selecting candidates for the High Council of Justice.
"The system should be filled with professional and decent judges who will be able to change the stable, negative attitude of people to this profession and restore the confidence of Ukrainians in the judiciary," the President emphasized.
According to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, another problem is the lack of honest and independent judges.
"These are global, so to speak, chronic diseases that have existed for years and need structural, profound changes. In particular - legislative changes," the Head of State stressed.
The President noted that it is important to eliminate abuses and ensure the transparency of the court.
"IT solutions can be an effective step in this direction. Similar to public services in a smartphone, we seek - and will certainly do - “a court in a smartphone". Most bureaucratic procedures will go online, which will speed up the legal proceedings, minimize corruption and opportunities for abuse," Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted.
He also added that citizens should be directly involved in the administration of justice.
"We are introducing democracy in the country, and this is not just local and all-Ukrainian referendums. One of its tools is a jury trial. Currently, two bills are ready to launch its work," the Head of State stressed.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that the model and format of the jury trial in Ukraine would be discussed in detail.
Also, according to the President, the reform of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine is relevant.
"Unfortunately, this body has become synonymous with distrust, and today we are talking not about restoring it, but about actually building this trust from scratch. The format in which the CCU should work is transparent selection of judges, integrity, ethics, clear procedures and decision-making order,” the President said.
The Head of State reminded that he had set up a Commission on Legal Reform to find ways to resolve the above mentioned issues.
"This is an expert, non-politicized platform for preparing a strategic vision - a set of legislative changes that will eliminate shortcomings and answer the question of what kind of judicial system Ukraine will have in a few years and under what conditions we will achieve international standards of justice," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.