The State Judicial Administration, with the support of the USAID New Justice Program, held a regular meeting of the working group on the elaboration of an action plan aimed at improving the process of involving citizens as jurors in the administration of justice.
During the meeting, the working group members discussed the progress made in making the necessary changes to the current legislation, in particular, the draft model regulations for local governments on the jury selection and other documents necessary for the implementation of the jury selection procedure and improving its logistic support; the key aspects of the planned information campaign to promote jury service among Ukrainian citizens, based on the findings of recently conducted surveys of the public, legal professionals, judges and jurors regarding the modernization of the institution of jurors in Ukraine, and, among other matters, the subject and format of the short educational orientation course for jurors.
In order to exchange knowledge and learn the U.S. experience on the functioning of the jury, the working group invited Justice Debra Stephens of the Washington State Supreme Court, to take part in the event. Justice Stephens informed the working group members on the peculiarities of the functioning of the jury in the United States, the procedure for selecting jurors and the requirements for candidates. The participants of the discussion were interested, among other things, in the U.S. experience regarding the reasons for grounded and ungrounded recusals of jurors, compliance with the relevant timeframes for jury trials, as well as contemporary challenges faced by the American justice system, in particular in the context of strengthening the representation of the jurors and improving their conditions of service in court.