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Judicial communications vs coronavirus spread: how the courts can properly inform about their work?

Judiciary /
Judicial reform

Roman Kuybida and Khrystyna Tybinka analyzed specific features of the work and communication regime of Ukrainian courts during quarantine

The imposition of various restrictions has become a challenge for all bodies and institutions whose activities are linked to permanent contacts between people. The courts were no exception, and after the quarantine began, they significantly changed their routine.

The following issues related to judicial communication were analysed by the CPLR experts:

Special regime for courts: what is it?

In connection with the quarantine, on 17 March the Council of Judges of Ukraine and a week later the High Council of Justice published recommendations on the work of the courts during this period. They predominantly concerned the proposal to establish a "special regime of work". Reactions to these recommendations differed not only between courts, but sometimes within the same court.

What is of interest to users and how the courts provide information

The experts highlighted the most common issues of concern to citizens, the use of court services and noted that the website remains the main open channel for disseminating information on court activities. At the same time, they noted that communication during quarantine remains complicated and identified the following errors in this area:

  • Hidden and unsystematic information about the peculiarities of the court's work
  • Use of non-informative headlines
  • Bureaucratic language
  • Providing misleading information
  • Ignoring the principle of publicity of court proceedings

How does a friendly court work?

Our experts analysed the prerequisites for successful court communication and made several proposals for court communication during quarantine using positive examples

"Red Button", based on collecting all important information for users about the peculiarities of the court's work in quarantine in one place.

Respect for the user, which manifests itself mainly in the need to systematize information, the use of a language that is understandable to the target audience and regular written or video messages to judges or the community.

Honest communication, based on the validity of information messages

Transparency and openness, characterized by compliance with the constitutional principle of publicity of the judicial process.

Detailed information can be found in the Ukrainian language in this article.