Judges, Members of the Council of Judges and Judicial Self-Governance Association Studied the US Experience of Raising the Public Awareness of Legal Matters

The USAID New Justice Program assisted the Council of Judges, Judicial Self-Governance Association, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Education with conducting a roundtable discussion on the importance of civic education for the youth to raise their awareness of the role of courts and the rule of law principle, thus, promoting the public trust in the judiciary.

As a part of the event, Justice Ann Walsh Bradley of the Wisconsin Supreme Court shared the U.S. experience in implementing iCivics program, a civic education program founded by former United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and gave recommendations on how to implement a similar program in Ukraine.

Developing an online platform which would offer online educational games and programs of civil awareness classes to teachers and students for free to encourage young people to be active citizens will become a step forward in the public education activities judges carry out to inform young people about the courts’ role and operations in a democratic country.

This is the conclusion the event participants – judges and members of the Council of Judges and Judicial Self-Governance Association – came to during the discussion of Justice Bradley’s presentation. Specifically, Volodymyr Kravchuk, the President of the Judicial Self-Governance Association and Supreme Court Justice, shared an idea of developing a computer game which would promote learning of the Constitution. Besides, the event participants discussed outcomes of judges’ informational activities with high school and university students, which were initiated by the Council of Judges, specifically, interactive classes for high school students incorporating demonstration of animated cartoons on legal topics as a part of the “Lesson of Justice” All-Ukrainian Campaign.

The Judicial Self-Governance Association, in cooperation with the Council of Judges, is in the process of implementing the All-Ukrainian Campaign “Lesson of Justice”, which began as a part of the grant-funded project titled “Raising the Children Awareness of Court Operations” with support from the USAID New Justice Program. Over 30,000 high school students across Ukraine attended the lessons. The Campaign continues and all interested schools and courts may join it by completing a questionnaire form here. There are plans to transfer methodological materials on conducting the “Lesson of Justice” to the Ministry of Education so that such classes are incorporated in the regular curriculum. Justice Bradley made an emphasis on the importance of cooperation with teachers for raising legal awareness of their students. The participants to the discussion decided to consider a possibility of developing a similar platform for civic education in Ukraine under umbrella of the Ministry of Education with support from the Judiciary and non-government sector.