Despite reform efforts undertaken by the Government of Ukraine after the Maidan Revolution in 2014, Ukrainian citizens continue to regard criminal justice stakeholders with deep distrust. In 2019, the presidential and snap parliamentary elections resulted in a shift of the political environment, creating an opportunity to meaningfully advance anti-corruption reforms.
Ukraine has embarked on a wide-ranging process of reform. Much of the region’s future stability depends on success in this 45-million strong country. The momentum is there to overcome a legacy of bureaucratic stagnation, arbitrariness and corruption. But efforts to complete the transition to a modern, prosperous state must contend with a crippling economic crisis and the persistence of conflict in the east of the country. As of 2015, IDLO is working at both the national and regional level to facilitate justice sector reform and promote integrity.
We particularly focus on criminal justice reforms, which are critical to strengthening of the rule of law and democratic institutions in Ukraine. Our work is aligned with Ukraine’s own laws and policies – chiefly the National Justice Sector Reform Strategy, the amended Law on the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Deregulation Strategy – as well as with Ukraine’s international obligations on combatting corruption.
IDLO is working around the world in countries including Indonesia, Kenya, the Philippines and Ukraine to combat all forms of corruption by making justice institutions cleaner and more responsive, reducing conflicts of interest in procurement and public life, and enhancing the capacity of institutions and justice actors to fight fraud and economic crime.
An abandoned movie theater in Mariupol has been restored and rebuilt into the new Mariupol Social Multicenter, a modern building providing public services for residents.
When asked if corruption is one of the major challenges facing Ukraine today, the three judges of the recently established High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) interviewed by IDLO were unanimous in their answers. The HACC is due to begin operations in September 2019.
As part of IDLO’s continuous commitment to accountability and results-based management, IDLO is pleased to share this Evaluation Brief (summarised evaluation report): “Evaluation of the project "Supporting Justice Sector and Anti-Corruption Reforms in Ukraine - Phase 1”. The evaluation has been conducted by independent evaluation experts, supervised by IDLO’s Evaluation Unit.
By Michel Nussbaumer, Director, Legal Transition Team, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Margarita Milikh, Regional Program Manager, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, International Development Law Organization. This piece originally appeared in the ALIFDO Gazette Winter 2018 Edition.
Despite the positive momentum from Ukraine’s justice sector reforms, there has been a lack of court judgments in top corruption cases, underscoring the need for greater institutional efficiency, transparency and independence in the process of prosecution. As corruption cases often involve complex financial schemes with elements of money-laundering, there is a strong need to delegate them to a specialized court. In response to these needs, the High Anti-Corruption Court was formally established on April 11th, 2019.
In 2014, a human rights monitoring mission was deployed to investigate alleged crimes and human rights violations in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea.