The USAID New Justice Program Representatives participated in a working conference on the issues of further development of the jury trial in the administration of justice by the courts of Ukraine, held at the Primorsky District Court in Odessa. The purpose of the event was to discuss the draft laws No 2709 and No. 2710, registered in the Verkhovna Rada, with the participation of Andriy Kostin, the Chairman of the Committee on Legal Policy of the Verkhovna Rada. The draft laws introduce a classic jury trial model.
The event was attended by: judges, lawyers, prosecutors, jurors and academics. Mr. Kostin emphasized the need for a wide discussion of the proposed approaches, their critical analysis and expert support in drafting the regulations to implement the draft laws. They also discussed the importance of launching a public outreach campaign to raise public awareness of the role of the jury in enhancing public confidence in the judiciary and other issues of the transition from the current jury model to the classic jury trial. Mr. Kostin and the Primorsky District Court Chief Judge, Mr. Kichmarenko, thanked the USAID New Justice Program for their willingness to support this process.
The participants were introduced to American and Irish jury trial experience during the presentations by David M. Vaughn, USAID New Justice Program COP, and Thomas Flanagan, EUAM Senior Counsel for Legal Reform (presentations can be found here).
The discussion results and the specific recommendations will be forwarded to the members of the respective Parliamentary Committee given that on February 12 there will be joint committee hearings to discuss the draft laws.