Victor Yushchenko took part in the fifth plenary meeting of the National Commission on the Promotion of the Rule of Law, President's press office reported.

In his opening statement, the President said it was incumbent on Ukrainian government to change fundamentals of Ukrainian justice in 2006. He is convinced this will be the first year to introduce judicial reforms making our judicial system efficient, fair, and affordable.

“When we speak about the fundamentals of democracy, the rule of law is its cornerstone. Judicial reform must be Ukraine’s most significant reform,” he opined.

The participants discussed a concept to improve legal proceedings, make courts fair and adapt our system to European norms. Justice Minister Serhiy Holovaty said it had been elaborated by the National Security and Defense Council, European Commission, NGOs and judges. Then they considered a plan of measures Ukraine needs to implement this concept.

The ten-year concept is intent to promote the rule of law in society and ensure fair trials at independent and impartial courts. It helps select better judges and stipulates mechanisms of their responsibility for being arbitrary and incompetent.

The President welcomed the concept and claimed that it should be discussed by the public and experts.

“We will have to be advocates of the concept,” he said and urged journalists to make the people aware of it.

The National Commission approved a few documents to create favorable conditions for the judicial system to function, improve judges’ competence, legal proceedings and legal protection.

They also decided to send the concept to the Council of Europe, Supreme Court of Ukraine, Supreme Administrative Court, Supreme Economic Court and Courts of Appeal. They should revise it by March 31 and then submit their proposals to the President.


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