Since 2015, TI Ukraine has been actively working on reforming the Ukrainian judicial system, engaging in the advocacy of efficient transformations.
Within the project «Creating an Efficient Control Mechanism and Prevention of Illegal Decision-Making of Ukrainian Judges», which lasted from September 2015 to May 2016 with the support of the US Embassy, about 1000 cases were analyzed under Article 368 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (the ascertaining of the rate of illegal benefit within the body of the crime), indicated in the Unified State Register of Court Decisions. Top officials cited the conclusion from the survey that only one fifth of corrupt officials are put in prison in their speeches. Influential foreign media referred to the survey.
As part of the project, we studied the adequacy of the punishment and identical application of the law when punishing corrupt officials. News on doubtful trial decisions were published on the website «Persha Instantsiia» (First Instance) (www.1i.com.ua). Based on such publications, we prepared and directed legal inquiries and appeals to various governmental agencies (Prosecutor General’s Office, Supreme Council of Justice, High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine), paid more attention to court decisions and demanded appropriate reactions.
Under the Open Governance Project: Beyond paper promises achieving real impact for people project, we analyzed judges’ lifestyles based on their assets declarations. The conclusions from studying the declarations of five Ukrainian supreme courts were presented during a press-conference “Ukrainian Themis: millions’ worth of gifts, collections of cars, and unpunished corrupt officials” on September 14. The information presented at the event was later cited by hundreds of Ukrainian media, and dozens of television channels referred to it in their programs.
Moreover, we have analyzed the statistical information concerning the consequences of adoption of the so-called ‘Savchenko’ Law that stipulates equating each day spent in a pre-trial facility to two days in prison. The data on convictions for murder and rape that were later paroled influenced the stance of some MPs and representatives of executive power. They demanded cancellation and change to the law.
TI Ukraine experts actively promoted the idea of creation of an anti-corruption courts. Mechanisms and terms of such courts were discussed at the all-Ukrainian conference “Prospects of Implementing Specialized Anti-Corruption Courts in Ukraine.”