INFORMATION AND ANALYTICAL SECTOR
of CONSTITUTIONAL COURT of UKRAINE
01033, Kyiv, Zhylianska, 14
tel. 238-10-80, 238-10-25
Judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Oleksandr Tupytskyi and Natalia Shaptala took part in the 19th annual International Judicial Conference
On May 17 – 22, 2016 on the invitation of the Furth Family Foundation, the Faculty of Law of the University of Michigan Law School and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems with the assistance of OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Oleksandr Tupytskyi and Natalia Shaptala took part in the 19th annual International Judicial Conference which was held in Washington D.C. (USA).
The conference was attended by the representatives of more than 100 bodies of constitutional jurisdiction and specialised judicial institutions from over 60 countries, including Vietnam, Guyana, Denmark, Egypt, India, Canada, Kosovo, Lima, Mauritania, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Benin, Romania, USA, Croatia, the Philippines, etc., as well as representatives of the United Nations Development Programme "Justice and the rule of law, international practice management" of the World Bank, scientific and educational institutions of the USA and other countries of the world.
This year the main topic of discussion concerned the theoretical and practical issues related to the independence of the judiciary and the experience of different countries in establishing and strengthening of the rule of law and independent judicial system. The urgency of the problem is obvious since the independence of the judiciary is one of the important principles of the democratic society, the implementation of which is an essential condition for the rule of law.
The conference included a special session, which consisted of two panel discussions and four thematic sessions.
The representative of the Furth Family Foundation, a board member of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems Frederick P. Furth and Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Michigan Law School Mark West address the participants of the conference with the opening speech, welcomed guests and thanked them for their participation in the event. They stressed that each participant makes a significant contribution for the achievement of its objectives.
During a special meeting participants discussed strengthening of the rule of law in proceedings, the initiatives to ensure the rule of law aimed at strengthening the role and independence of the judiciary. The discussion included combating corruption and excessive influence of outsiders in the judiciary, implementation of best practices in the promotion of judicial independence. Discussions were also focused on how civil society can contribute to the independence and transparency of the judicial system, including the development of codes of judicial ethics, improving the training of judicial personnel.
At the first session, the topic of which concerned judicial administration and the management of stress, structural elements of independent judicial power, including financial, organisational and political, and the consequences of overloading of the courts and techniques to improve their efficiency were considered. In particular, participants discussed advantages and disadvantages of various methods of financing the judiciary, workload management strategy, including mandatory and discretionary appeal to the courts, alternative dispute resolution, use of pilot projects, the role of registries and law clerks in addressing current challenges that exist in court authorities.
Judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Oleksandr Tupytskyi spoke on behalf of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine on "The Role of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine in Ensuring of theIndependence of the Judiciary, Political and Financial Aspects".
The speech outlined the general information about the place and role of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine in the system of government, the range of its powers, as well as some features of the nature of its acts. In addition, the report dealt with the structural elements of the independent judicial power, including financial, organisational and political. Based on the practice of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, Oleksandr Tupytskyi spoke about its impact on ensuring financial and political independence of the judiciary in Ukraine.
Concluding his report, the judge formulated conclusions on the importance and the need of influence on the part of the Constitutional Court Ukraine on ensuring the independence of the judiciary, as some threats to this independence are still relevant in Ukraine.
The second meeting was focused on the problem of protecting of individual rights. Participants studied the source of individual rights, including the rights of political, ethnic and religious minorities, political relations, legislative and judicial processes of protecting of such rights.
The third meeting touched upon the transparency and reasoning of judicial decisions. Participants discussed the scope of substantiation of a judgment, providing written opinions, the effects of previous decisions in certain cases, the role and place of dissenting opinions in decision-making by judges and interaction of judges with the media concerning the clarification of court decisions and so on.
Judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Natalia Shaptala spoke in the frame of the meeting and drew attention of the participants that substantiation of the court’s decision is very important because it has to be comprehensive, complete and reasonable, but can not be limitless and overloaded. In this case, judge cited some examples of too broad justification for acts of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, which later had some negative consequences.
In this light, the judge proposed that the possibility of adopting of the final document on the results of the conference should be discussed at the next conference.
During the fourth meeting, participants discussed the codes of judicial ethics and judicial behaviour. The discussion included aspects that should be considered when developing such codes, feasibility of adoption of the international model code of judicial conduct and the impact of the Bangalore principles of judicial conduct in making these codes.
During the visit, judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Oleksandr Tupytskyi and Natalia Shaptala visited the Embassy of Ukraine to the United States, met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the USA Valerii Chalyi and laid flowers in the memory of Taras Shevchenko to the monument opened inWashington D.C. in 1964.
The Ukrainian delegation also took part in the official reception on behalf of the Furth Family Foundation and the US Supreme Court President John Roberts which was held at the Supreme Court of the United States during which issues of common interest for European and American judges were addressed.