MP of Ukraine, member of the Party of Regions parliamentary faction, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Justice Serhiy Kivalov said that PACE Monitoring Committee welcomes Ukraine's desire to proceed with reforms in judicial system, with adoption of the Criminal Procedure Code and with reform of public prosecutor's offices and advocacy, FOrUm learned from the press office of the Party of Regions.

November 2, Serhiy Kivalov met with the Co-Rapporteurs of PACE Monitoring Committee on Ukraine's observance of international obligations to this organization Ms. Marietta de Pourbaix-Lundin and Ms. Mailis Reps, as well as with the Secretary of the Monitoring Committee Mr. Bas Klein. At the meeting, held in Parliament, the parties discussed the state of justice in Ukraine and reform of the criminal justice system.

Informing members of the Monitoring Committee on the status of judiciary, MP noted that European experts’ recommendations are being consistently accounted by Ukrainian legislators, particularly on the question of the status and powers of the Supreme Court of Ukraine. He recalled that on October 20 Parliament adopted the Law on amendments to the legislation on judicial system, which provides changes in powers and quantitative personnel of the SCU.

Responding to the question of foreign experts on judicial independence in Ukraine, Serhiy Kivalov said that Ukrainian judges legislatively are adequately protected from the pressure of executive and legislative powers: "There is a statutory procedure for appealing of judicial decisions, there are agencies that have special powers and can control the judges’ compliance with law."

The current Ukrainian Criminal Procedure Code was also discussed at the meeting, which had been amended dozens of times since 1960, but remained the same in it’s structure.

The parliamentarian emphasized that at present for the first time in many years the new draft Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine, elaborated by the established by the President working group, in the most complete way reflects European standards and European philosophy of investigation and trial on criminal cases. Among the main innovations of the new draft Criminal Procedure Code is establishment of procedural equality and competitiveness of the parties; it increases the rights of suspects, enlarges the rights of victims; updates pre-trial investigation procedure; improves procedure of judicial control, forbids to return cases for further investigation, improves procedure for appeals of judicial decisions.

Serhiy Kivalov assured that as soon as the results of examination of the new draft Criminal Procedure Code will be transferred from the Council of Europe (and they are expected this month), the legislator will have to start from this document, taking into account the recommendations of European experts.

In turn, Marietta de Pourbaix-Lundin and Mailis Reps expressed satisfaction with Ukraine's desire to proceed with reforms in judicial system.

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