7 december 2017

Expert confidence in new Supreme Court is High ‒ survey results

Every third expert in Ukraine trusts the new Supreme Court, according to a public opinion survey. Given the high level of distrust in the judiciary as a whole, this indicator can be considered high, experts of the Centre of Policy and Legal Reform (CPLR), which conducted the survey, said at a press conference “How should the new Supreme Court look like: the survey results” on December 7.

"Some 52% of respondents believe that the new SC can help increase citizen and business confidence in the Ukrainian justice system. The fact that every third respondent trusts the Supreme Court is a very good indicator amid the general distrust in the judiciary," Roman Kuybida, Deputy Head of the CPLR Board, said.

The survey was conducted through an online questionnaire from November 28 to December 3, 2017. A total of 421 respondents, including 340 judicial officials (36 of whom are judges), were polled.

Some 37% of those polled trust the new composition of the SC, 40% trust only some judges, but not the entire composition of the SC. Of those polled, 12% do not trust the new composition of the SC at all. At the same time, Roman Kuybida stressed that 60% of the polled do not think that the new SC will be able to withstand political influences. 44% believe that judges of the new SC will be incorruptible, while 46% don’t think so. According to 72% of the respondents, the impeccable reputation and absence of a negative opinion of the Public Council of Integrity should be a key criterion for the leaders of the new SC and cassation courts, which now will become a part of the SC. Citizens expect from the new SC to introduce innovations and new standards for judge’s behaviour. At the same time, the new SC faces serious challenges - a heavy workload and a general distrust in the existing judicial system.

Mykola Mazur, the Judge of the new Supreme Court, emphasized that he sees among his colleagues in this Court the full awareness of the expectations that society puts on them, as well as the desire to ensure the prompt start of the Supreme Court and its effective work.

At the same time, Volodymyr Sushchenko, Head of the Board of Expert Centre for Human Rights, member of the Trustee Board of the Ukrainian Bar Association, believes that the results of the competition conducted to the new SC did not reduce the high level of mistrust in society regarding the ability of the SC to be completely independent and fair. "The lawyers and scientists who are elected to the Supreme Court are the ones that are able to increase the level of trust in the judiciary in general, and therefore produce a greater level of trust in society, compared with judges," the expert said.

 

Background Information: The press conference is organized by the Centre of Policy and Legal Reform (CPLR) with the support of the European Union (EU). The opinions expressed by the CPLR experts do not reflect the official position of the EU.

The Centre of Policy and Legal Reform (CPLR) is an analytical center created in 1996, whose purpose is to support the implementation of the institutional reforms aimed at ensuring the democracy, the rule of law and proper governance in Ukraine.

For additional information please contact: Yarina Busol, tel: +38 095 153 2542, busol@pravo.org.ua