The first month of monitoring of the High Anti-Corruption Court’s performance has gone by. TI Ukraine’s junior lawyers have spent over 100 hours at 75 court hearings of proceedings with 46 accused individuals.
We decided to collect tips for those who want to attend the court session and be almost completely ready for it.
Check the date and time of the hearing. You can do it in the Schedule section on the website Ukraine’s Judicial Authorities: https://court.gov.ua/assignments/.
Prepare for the hearing. Familiarize yourself with the judicial proceedings and analyze them to understand the circumstances and the gist of the criminal case.
Be aware that the hearing will last for 3 to 6 hours. It means that your laptop and phone have to be fully charged, and your charges or power banks should be on you. Of course, bring water and a snack for the break.
Bring the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedural Code of Ukraine (electronic or a hard copy).
Don’t carry keys, coins or other miscellaneous items in your pockets. The frame you walk through at the entrance will react to them.
Know your rights. If the hearing is open and there are seats for listeners in the court room, but you are not allowed to enter, it will violate a number of legislative provisions. You can refer to the Law of Ukraine “Law of Ukraine “On Judiciary and the Status of Judges,” Art. 11, part 3, and the Criminal Procedural Code, Art. 27, parts 2 and 6, and Article 328.
Since the HACC often works on high-profile cases, there are many people interested in attending the hearing. Considering this, come 15-20 minutes before the hearing starts. The number of seats in the courtroom is limited.
It is advisable to wear business clothes.
Eat before you go to court. Judges can be late, the hearing itself, too. It’s not a good idea to be hangry in the courtroom.
Finally, be patient. There are tons of cases when hearings start an hour later or don’t start at all. Therefore, prepare yourself for the possibility that you will have wasted your time. Patience will also be a good asset if you decide to scroll social media or look for extra information on the case while you wait. The Internet connection in the HACC leaves much to be desired.
Thank you to TI Ukraine’s Legal Department for the lifehacks.