Advancing the Rule of Law: Creating an Independent and Competent Judiciary

by Larry A. Di Matteo, Galyna Mykhailiuk and Nina Mykhailiuk

An independent and competent judiciary is an essential element in rule of law systems. The rule of law continues to be tested, even in countries where the principle has been firmly entrenched as in the United States. The judicial reform movement in Ukraine offers a case study in the creation of such a system. The government and civil society recognize the necessity of developing a rule of law culture as a precursor to economic development. The judicial reform movement has resulted in new laws that include revisions to the qualifications and evaluation process for judicial appointments. Recent Constitutional amendments have given foundational authority for a wide-ranging assessment process requiring judges to meet standards of competency, professionalism and integrity. The core belief is that any approach to improve the quality of the judiciary needs to be ambitious enough to create public trust and confidence in the courts. This article analyzes the current status of reform in Ukraine, its shortcomings, and suggests how the judicial reform process may be improved. It is a case study relevant to countries transitioning from former autocratic regimes to rule of law systems.

DOI 10.23815/2421-2156.ITALJ           ISSN 2421-2156

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