Ukrainian Judiciary Reforms Under the Pressure of EU: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
19 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2014
Date Written: December 5, 2013
Ukraine has been reforming its judiciary since the very first days of independence. The 2010 reforms initiated by the government of Yanukovych are the most notable. This paper aims to analyse the Yanukovych reforms in the light of European standards and to identify what further improvements are needed to meet these standards. The paper first presents a short outline of the Ukrainian court system and court reforms since 1991. It then proceeds to a detailed discussion of the 2010 Yanukovych court reforms which were initiated under the pressure of prospective Association agreement with European Union. Finally, it provides an assessment of the reforms and the future steps necessary to improve the Ukrainian judiciary. The paper concludes that the Ukrainian government was never full-heartedly committed to the goal of independent judiciary and its 2010 reform was consciously designed to produce ‘one step forward’ and ‘two steps back’.
Keywords: courts, independent judiciary, EU, European Neighbourhood Policy, democracy, post-Soviet, Ukraine
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