Strasbourg, 15 July 2002
CCJE (2003) 24
Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE)
Questionnaire on judges’ training: reply submitted by the delegation of Ukraine
Questionnaire on Judges, Training
a) Initial training for prospective judges
1. Yes, prospective judges do receive initial training. The training is compulsory. There are two higher educational establishments where prospective judges receive their training. The length of training for those judges who already have a university degree is two years.
2. The responsibility to receive initial training for judges is established in the acts of the Higher Council of Judges which is a state authority responsible for the supply of highly professional judges.
3. Initial training for prospective judges is financed by the state budget. The training is completely free of charge and during the training prospective judges receive a stipend.
4. Unfortunately there is no special body or institute for judges' training in Ukraine. Such functions are exercised by two departments of Ukrainian higher educational establishments-- the National Law Academy of Ukraine of Yaroslav Mudriy and the Odessa State Law Academy. The departments provide training for judges constantly. It also should be noted that both academies are financed by the state.
5. The training of prospective judges is financed by the state. The candidates are being forwarded by the state authorities of justice. The issues of organization of training are decided by scientists and other members of the staff.
6. The initial training of judges covers many topics. It includes deeper learning of criminal and civil law, judicial precedents of the European Court on Human Rights, judicial psychology and many other topics which refer to judicial work.
7. At the end of the training prospective judges take several exams on major topics which identify their level of competence and their ability to occupy judge's position. But a person can actually work as a judge only when he/she passes not only the examination at the end of the initial training, but also the examination at the Higher Council of Justice which basically decides whether a person is able to become a judge.
b) In-service training
1. Unfortunately the question of in-service training of judges is not completely decided in Ukraine. At this moment the in-service training is organized by the state authorities such as the Courses of the raise of qualification of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine for judges of the local courts and the Center of the Supreme Court of Ukraine of the raise of qualification of judges of Ukraine for judges of the courts of appeal. Each of these centers has a plan for the in-service training of judges.
At the Courses of the raise of qualification of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine the following subjects are taught: criminal and civil law, criminal and civil procedure, composing of procedural documents. The training is organized in a form of lectures and seminars.
At the Center of the raise of qualification of the Supreme Court of Ukraine the judges are taught not only some general law topics but also methods of conducting a court meeting, principles of the independence of judges and role of judges in a democratic society, implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights in examining specific categories of cases and so on. The training is organized in a form of lectures and reports, seminars and conferences, special courses dedicated, for example, to learning English language or computer training.
Besides the state organizations some public organizations also organize in-service training for judges. The most well-know organization in Ukraine is the Center for Judicial Studies. The most remarkable thing about the Center is the organization of training. The Center organizes seminars-trainings for judges at the Central Seminar in Kyiv who then serve as instructors for the seminars organized at the local levels. Such organization of training can be regarded as the process of decentralized constant training.
2. The in-service training for judges is compulsory based on the responsibilities of judges to constantly raise their qualification.
3. The in-service training of judges is organized by the organizations mentioned above (see question 1, sec.b).
The following is a more detailed description of two such organizations.
Centre for Judicial Studies
The Centre for Judicial Studies was established in a framework of implementation of the Ukraine-Switzerland project "The Support of the Reformation of Justice in Ukraine" in February, 2000.
The main goal of the Centre is the promotion of judicial reforms in Ukraine through the promotion of legal consciousness , culture and ethics of the judicial personnel, establishing in the society some new orientations and directions towards the rule of law, judges' belonging to the independent branch of government, their most important function of protecting the citizens' rights and freedoms.
The most important direction of the Centre's work is organizing seminars-trainings for the Ukrainian judges in the Central educational-methodical seminar in Kyiv and educational classes in the regions of Ukraine. The attendants of the Central seminar, being the instructors of the Centre, use the informational-methodical materials, new forms and methods of organizing educational classes which are worked out at the Centre while holding local seminars.
Such organization of transference of knowledge can be regarded as the process of decentralized constant education which is an essential innovation in the practice of raise of judges' qualification.
The classes at the Central seminar are led by scientists, judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and the Supreme Court of Ukraine, representatives of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Supreme Council), the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine. The representatives of the judicial personnel of Switzerland, France and other countries also take part in the seminars.
For the time of its existence under the specially elaborated program and subjects the Centre has organized and held 16 seminars-trainings on the implementation in the Ukrainian judicial practice of the European Convention on Human Rights, the ethics of relations between the judicial and executive powers, the realization of the judicial reform in Ukraine, the modern law-understanding and justice, the judicial protection of the person's rights, the correlation of the international and internal law in the work of judges, the European experience of the judicial self-government and independence of judges, the judicial protection of the right of property, the usage of psychology in the work of judges, the relations between the judicial power and mass media in a democratic society and so on. The Centre has prepared more than 100 judges-instructors who hold educational classes with their colleagues in the regions.
The principles of organization of education are established in a framework of the common European culture, with implementation of the experience of the European justice which will promote the preparation of the Ukrainian judges to joining " the common judicial Europe".
Today the Centre is elaborating the projects which are aimed at the promotion of the judicial reform in Ukraine. The systematic teaching the judges some skills of using the computer technology has begun, the questions of the possibilities of the distant learning scheme for judges, in particular, using the Internet, are being researched.
The Centre closely cooperates with the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, the Consulates of Switzerland and France, the Council of Europe, maintains working relations with the representatives of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and the Supreme Court of Ukraine, the representative bodies of the international governmental and public organizations.
The Direction on the questions of the development and cooperation of the Federal Department of the Foreign Affairs of Switzerland provides financial and organizational support.
From August 2001 the Centre for Judicial Studies has worked as the international fund.
The Center of the Supreme Court of Ukraine of the raise of qualification of judges of Ukraine.
The Center was established in 1996 fulfilling the Decision of the Presidium of the Supreme Court of Ukraine of the 16th of June 1996. The personnel of the Center includes 5 people: director, vice-director, coordinator of educational programs, manager of the methodical cabinet and specialist on finances.
The main goal of the Center is solving the questions of improving the qualifications of the personnel, raise of qualification of judges of all levels and staff, giving them methodical and practical help, promotion of establishing the independent and democratic judicial system in Ukraine.
Ways and methods of fulfilling the goal:
- the activities accompanying raise of qualification of judges of regional levels take place directly at the Centre and Judicial Board of the Supreme Court of Ukraine;
- organization and holding of the conferences, seminars and usage of other forms of education directly in Kiev and other cities where regional courts and military courts are situated;
- conducting one- or two-day long classes directly in the cities where the regional, military and district courts are located;
- organization and methodical maintenance of classes, programs of raise of qualification of judges and judicial personnel;
- promotion of establishing the personnel reserve to fill the positions of judges of the regional courts;
- maintaining international connections.
For the methodical management of the Centre the Council of Judges of Ukraine has chosen the Presidium comprised of 9 members among the judges of the Supreme Court of Ukraine and regional judges.
The following seminars and conferences were held for judges of the regional and district courts:
- the role and place of the judicial power in solving the questions of protection of human rights and citizen's rights. Raise of qualification of judges in Ukraine, problems and realities;
- methods of conducting a court meeting and terms of independence of judges and role of judges in a democratic society;
- legal regime of taxation. Tax system of the USA and Ukraine- comparative analysis, legislature and judicial practice;
- examination of electoral cases by the courts of Ukraine;
- usage of the European Convention on Human Rights in the criminal process of Ukraine;
- about the practice of usage of the civil legislature by courts while examining the land disputes and connected with them property disputes;
- organized crime and corruption;
- judicial practice in cases when the mass media is sued;
- reformation of the criminal procedure law;
- organized crime and some problems of reformation of the criminal justice;
- problems of examination of electoral cases in Ukraine;
- the fair legal examination in the light of the European Convention on Human Rights;
- problems of solving the electoral cases in Ukraine and the practice of examination of some categories of cases in a cassational order and in an order of inspection by the courts of Ukraine. The provision of cassation and appeal in Ukraine;
- reformation of the system of countermeasures and usage of pawn.
The Centre has organized some classes of mastering the knowledge of business Ukrainian, foreign languages and computers. In cooperation with some international legal organizations it has also organized and held some seminars which were aimed at deepening the legal partnership and raise of qualification of judges. For example, in 1998 those seminars included the following: "The European Convention on Human Rights- the extent of access to judges", "The role of judges in the investigation, legal examination of a case and in the relationships with public prosecutors on all stages of the trial."
The educational process in the Centre is made possible by the joint efforts of the Ukrainian judges, particularly the Supreme Court judges, and judges and specialists from other countries. The Centre is supported financially by mostly international legal organizations because the State budget issues only a little bit of money for functioning of the Centre. Those international organizations include the Central and Eastern European Legal Initiative, the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, the US Embassy in Kyiv, the Department of International Development of Great Britain in Kyiv, the International Foundation of Electoral Systems and many others.
On June 1, 2002 there was passed the Law of Ukraine " About the Judicial System of Ukraine" . According to Section1, Article 129 of this law the Academy of Judges of Ukraine is established as part of the State Judicial Administration of Ukraine with an aim of providing Ukrainian courts with qualified judges and other members of the judicial staff.
The tasks of the Academy are:
- initial training of prospective judges among the candidates who have a degree in law and who fulfill the requirements established for becoming a judge;
- in-service training for judges and other members of the judicial staff;
- conducting scientific research on methods of better organization of judicial work;
- analyzing world experience in matters of organization of judiciary;
- scientific and methodical provision of the courts of general jurisdiction and the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.
4. The judges are interested in undergoing an in-service training because it gives them an opportunity to raise their qualification. In Ukraine there are several classes of qualification. And depending on which class a judge has, he/she gets a corresponding salary. Besides when judges move to a higher administrative position their level of competence and professional knowledge is taken into account.
5. During the first year of their career judges have a training at the Courses of the raise of qualification of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine. They are taught such topics as criminal and civil law, criminal and civil procedure, composing procedural documents. The training is organized in a form of lectures and seminars. At the end of the training judges pass examination on the topics they were taught.