Regional Roundtable on Updating the Code of Judicial Ethics Was Held

The Council of Judges (CoJ), with the support of USAID New Justice Program, held a third roundtable under the series of regional discussions with representatives of the courts of Odesa, Mykolayiv, Kherson and Kirovohrad Oblasts to update the provisions of the Code of Judicial Ethics and present their comments thereon.

The participants of the discussion held in Odesa got familiarized with the activities of the Committee on Ethics, Corruption Prevention and Conflict of Interest of the Council of Judges, in particular, with the work of the working group on updating the provisions of the Code of Judicial Ethics and accordingly – Commentary to it and Rules of Conduct. The judges discussed the concept of the draft amendments to the Rules of Conduct for Court Employees, the concept of draft amendments to the Code of Judicial Ethics and Commentary to the Code of Judicial Ethics, as well as their scope and content.

Moreover, they’ve got acquainted with the results of High Council of Justice disciplinary practice for violation of judicial ethics analysis, reviewed the conflict of interests issues in the judicial activity and communications issues in the light of the Code of Judicial Ethics provisions; made the previous ethical norms development and adoption a historical overview, and determined the role of judicial self-government bodies in fostering up-to-date ethical standards.

The CoJ Chairman and Deputy Chairman Bohdan Monich and Vadym Butenko, Chairman of the Committee on Ethics, Prevention of Corruption and Conflict of Interest under CoJ Yegor Krasnov, Chairwoman of the Committee on the Status of Judges and Respecing the Rights of Court Employees of the CoJ Halyna Dibrova, members of the CoJ, judges, experts, court staff, representatives of the State Judicial Administration and William Thurman, the Expert of the USAID New Justice Program, Member of the US Judicial Conference Code of Conduct Committee, US Federal Bankruptcy Judge, Utah District, attended the discussion aimed at determining the matters of judicial ethics and conflicts of interest faced by judges in their practice and requiring additional regulation.

Mr. Thurman shared the US practice on regulating relevant ethical issues such as social media behavior, the judge’s financial interests, public speeches and the recusal of a judge, and suggested drafting some articles of the Code of Judicial Ethics in light of international standards and the U.S. experience. This experience will be useful in formulating provisions on important issues of professional ethics and conflict of interest in Ukraine.