Archive for November 7th, 2011


EU experts to help improve Ukrainian judicial system (again)

November 7, 2011

Do you know, if I had even 1% of the staggering amount of millions of Euro that the EU has pumped into the Ukrainian judicial system since I have been here I would be a very wealthy man.  I would certainly have a bank account that contained 6 figures before the decimal point.

Money was being pumped into it at the back end of the Kuchma period, continually throughout the Yushenko period, despite PACE writing to Yushenko and admonishing him for his personal and direct interference in the courts in 2007, all of which has happened with no discernible results at any time.

Guess what the EU is going to do now?  (Rhetorical question)

Yes, the EU is going to fund a “twinning project” covering four areas of the Ukrainian justice system.  Which four areas is not stated on any EU website that I have been able to find.  In fact the “twinning project” is not mentioned on any of them as far as I can see.

So what are the four areas that will be subject to “twinning”.  What exactly is “twinning”?  Is it a Swedish, Lithuanian or French judge sitting along side a Ukrainian one to insure procedural adherence and transparency?  Is it that the EU is under the impression that the Ukrainian judiciary doesn’t know what an independent judiciary actually looks like or how it should theoretically function?

Of course the Ukrainian judiciary know all that.  So do the Ukrainian oligarchs.  That is why the oligarchy contracts nominate arbitration in the Stockholm or London courts rather than within Ukraine should there be contractual issues or breaches further down the line.

When does this “twinning” begin?  Which EU budget does it come from?  How much is it going to cost?

Is it just a different name for the exchange system the EU has tried before where learned judges from Ukraine and the EU went and visited each other, stayed in nice hotels and ran up some impressive expense accounts?

Why is such a woolly statement not pressed for some specifics but feckless journalists?  How is success measured from this latest foray into the Ukrainian judiciary?

Does the EU want to know why headline trials are dealt with by junior judges in Ukraine?  The answer (according to a Ukrainian judge I know) is that no judge with experience will touch a case that will have a “smell”.  Thus such cases fall to those poor souls in the judiciary who cannot pass it off to others and have been most recently appointed and have a long career ahead of them (if they do not blot their copy book) rather than behind them.

Over what period of time is success going to be measured?  How is this policy going to be seen as effective (so far none have been), ineffective (so far most have been) or counterproductive (which may also have been the case as undoubtedly there will be no audit trail for the millions of Euro thrown at the Ukrainian judicial system, so nobody will know where the money went.)

How can I, a member of the hoy polloy and great unwashed, be sure as an EU citizen permanently in Ukraine, this latest woolly statement will turn into anything positive this time and how will I know when it is supposed to show some results?

I want to believe this time it will be different.  I want to believe this time the effort and money put in will have a beneficial result for all the people I live amongst.  I want to believe there is a specific plan with carefully thought through strategies, methods of measurement, a realistic time-line and an audit trail.

Why is it so hard for me to believe?  History!

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