Today Victor Yushchenko has met with judges of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, President's press office reported.

The President said it was vital to start introducing judicial reforms in 2007. No doubt, it will take more than a year, he said, but we must approach this goal by formulating a clear-cut and detailed agenda for 2007. He is convinced several particularly important changes should be introduced for the implementation of these reforms, among them raising the social and material status of judges and developing effective mechanisms of control and correction.

“You will be the first partners in the formation of the fundamentals of judicial reform,” he said, calling on those present to be actively involved in the process.

The Head of State assured the judges that next year’s budget would sufficiently support the court.

“I think there will be much order in this area. This should not be a problem; otherwise, it will be regarded as pressure on the independent court,” he said, adding that he had recently discussed this problem with Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and Justice Minister Roman Zvarych.

In his speech, Yushchenko also said it was vital to promote independence and impartiality of Ukrainian courts.

“Step by step, we must raise the status of the judge and make it inaccessible to speculations, including political speculations,” he said.

The President insisted that they should restore people’s trust in courts, which will only be true when their verdicts are fair.  

“I would like to thank all those who keep their professional creed high,” he said, urging the judges of the Supreme Court to be aware of their exceptional mission in building an independent and democratic Ukraine.

On behalf of his colleagues, Petro Pylypchuk, Acting Head of the Supreme Court, assured him they were determined to introduce reforms and knew what should be done first to achieve results.

Victor Yushchenko presented state awards to the judges for their professionalism in the protection of constitutional rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens.


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