«We should not assess the work of judges by electing them», – Ihor Fomin, a Member of the High Council of Justice
On September 13, 2019, the Conference “Judicial Administration in the Eastern Partnership Countries: Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova” was held in Odessa.
The event was organized by the Center of Policy and Legal Reform and the DEJURE Foundation with the financial support from the European Union and the International Renaissance Foundation as part of a grant component of the project “Public Synergy” under the auspices of the Ukrainian national platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.
Through the example of the results of the functioning of the judicial administration models existing in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, the main objective of the event was to discuss the pressing issues of the formation of judicial administration bodies, their independent activities, to exchange experiences and opinions in order to use the good practice of each country, introduce the most qualitative changes to this areas, and increase public confidence in the judiciary.
During the course of the Conference, an analysis of the operating results of such state authorities of the Eastern Partnership countries as Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine was presented, as well as an analysis of the objectives of the Eastern Partnership set until 2020, which include issues of institutions enforcement and good governance.
During the second panel discussion devoted to the Ukrainian experience of activity of the judicial administration bodies, Ihor Fomin, a member of the High Council of Justice, delivered a speech and noticed: “We should not assess the work of judges by electing them. It is necessary to assess the work of a judge in terms of the quality and fairness of his/her court decisions. Who analyzed the complaints of Ukrainian citizens? As a member of the High Council of Justice, I affirm that the vast majority of complaints are associated with the delayed consideration of cases that have been conducted for years, as well as the activity of investigating magistrates. And, once again, I would like to emphasize the independence of the judiciary. Now there are a number of problems that actually do not comply with the people’s expectations - this is a staff shortage in the courts and an extremely high caseload for judges. Each judge has more than 1,000 cases pending. In addition to corruption risks, justice often faces administrative pressure and pressure from numerous public organizations. It goes without saying that the public must necessarily participate in the administration of justice. Direct participation of the public in the administration of justice is a jury trial. It should be noted that this institution is successfully operating in many European countries.”
According to the results of the Conference, recommendations on reforming the judicial administration bodies were voiced. So, the effective functioning of the judicial administration bodies depends directly on their structure, namely, highly qualified specialists, who have public confidence.