Jury trial to work next year in Ukraine

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The classic jury trial in Ukraine can be launched as early as 2021. The Ministry of Justice has developed two bills, the adoption of which will ensure the introduction of the classical jury institute in the country. This was announced by Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine Oleksandr Bunchuk.

“Although the Constitution of Ukraine stipulates that the people directly take part in the administration of justice by jury, the principle of their work is still based on Soviet practice”, Bunchuk said.

He added For the formal implementation of this norm of the Constitution, the court of lay judges was renamed the jury in 2012, but in fact this institution is not a jury in the classical sense.

“The provisions of the Constitution regarding the jury must be fully implemented. It is not enough just to rename the lay judge’s court to a jury trial. It is necessary to clearly separate the jury’s determination of guilt-innocence and the adoption of legal decisions by a professional judge,” Bunchuk noted.

The introduction of a jury is of epoch-making importance and is an important guarantee of the right to a fair trial for every person in Ukraine. In her opinion, people’s request for justice must be satisfied by creating a real jury trial”. The chairwomen of the Center for Civil Liberties Aleksandra Matviychuk said.

Two bills

Last year, human rights defenders and scientists, along with the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, prepared two bills that were recently registered in parliament.

“One bill provides for amendments to the law on the judicial system and the status of judges” regarding the formation of a list of jurors. The second bill provides for amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code and the law on the State Register of Voters. We hope that this year the proposed changes will be approved by the parliament and will enter into force in 2021, ” Deputy Minister of Justice said.

These bills are designed to ensure the independence of the jury from the judge at the legislative level, which will improve the quality and efficiency of the pre-trial investigation bodies and enhance the competitiveness of the parties in the process.

According to the bill, jury trials will be carried out by a panel of seven,The jury will sit separately and not pronounce a verdict, but they must answer the following questions: this a crime?, the Accused guilty or not?

How will it work

Jurors are invited according to voters lists. Now the list of jurors is approved by local councils with the consent of the citizens , who want to become a jury.and thats why Ukraine lacks jurors. Moreover, under this order, they were unmotivated, which led to the postponement and disruption of trials. If the jury will be selected by the voters list, it will mean, in fact, not a citizen’s right to be a jury, but the state’s task is to create conditions so that the duty is honorable enough, and its fulfillment is reimbursed, the Ministry of Justice reports.

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