Issues of Trust in the Judiciary and the Inevitability of Punishment: Aspen Institute’s Kyiv organizing of Dialogue for Legal Professionals

The honesty of Ukrainian Judges has long been the focus of public attention. The issue of trust in judges and their assurance has remained relevant for a long time.

Aspen Institute Kyiv organized a Dialogue on “Distrust in Judges: What to Do?” for Graduates of the Seminars on “Justice, Law and Society.” Within the Dialogue framework, legal experts discussed the most critical aspects of this topic in the context of contemporary challenges.

Yulia Tychkivska, the Executive Director of Aspen Institute Kyiv, emphasized that discussing socially essential topics is necessary to understand society’s problems and discover ways to address them.

Key points of the Dialogue:

  • The legislative framework regulating the work of judges is sufficiently compelling, although gaps need to be addressed. 
  • Not only judges but also prosecutors and lawyers play an essential role in the process of administering justice. Legal education of society is a necessary element in constructing the rule of law. 
  • A systemic approach is needed to ensure the effective functioning of the court: ensuring the quality of judicial decisions, the efficient operation of law enforcement agencies, and the establishment of clear societal expectations for the judiciary.
  • Trust in judges exists in countries with trust in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of power. 
  • The involvement of foreigners in state processes in Ukraine is effective; it allows for adopting the best foreign practices, an external perspective, and the exchange of experience with experienced lawyers. 
  • Ukraine needs a functioning system of the inevitability of punishment for judges and public servants, which will guarantee their integrity. 
  • Internal resilience of judges is necessary to prevent any tolerance of bribery. 
  • The judiciary must work independently, and the legislative framework that regulates it should stay the same every time there is a change in power. 

Roman Kobets, a research fellow at the H. S. Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, moderated the Dialogue.

We send our heartfelt gratitude to the participants of the dialogue for their proactive stance and participation in the discussion!