On April 27, an expert event “Litigation in Ukraine: What Should Business Know?” was held where the findings of the Court Index 2020 were presented. The event was attended by representatives of business, the legal community, the High Council of Justice, and judicial staff.
The Court Index is an expert survey conducted among top managers of companies and lawyers of the European Business Association member companies for the eighth year already.
This year, GOLAW law firm became the main partner of the survey. The Court Index objective is constant monitoring and timely identification of problematic aspects with regards to relationships between businesses and the judiciary branch.
In 2020, the index integral value rose up to 2.50 points at a 5-point scale. In the previous period, the index integral value was 2.45 points. In general, business assessments of the judiciary for five consecutive years have remained almost unchanged.
In 2020, the level of trust in the judiciary on part of company executives was 1.82 points (1.98 in the previous period). In 2020, executives’ assessment, which is always more emotional than the lawyers’ one, could have been affected by both difficulties during the system reorganizing due to the coronavirus pandemic and a negative response to a number of high-profile court cases in the media and society.
Other index components received a higher score. The assessment of the judiciary impartiality by the expert community has slightly increased – 2.69 points (2.55 in 2019), and traditionally the factors that were given the highest scores by businesses were organization and activity of the judiciary, which average score was 2.98 points (2.83 in the previous survey).
The experts gave the highest scores to the accessibility of court decisions, judges’ qualifications and competence, the availability of judicial protection, while the worst ones – to terms of court decision making. Factors that adversely affect the credibility of the judiciary include, above all, corruption, high court overload, which affects the quality of court proceedings, disposition time, and decisions preparation.
Commercial courts received the highest score from the professional community – 2.59 points out of 5. The second place was given to general courts – 2.47 points, and the third place – to administrative courts with a score of 2.42 points.
Valentyn Gvozdiy. Attorney at Law, Managing Partner at GOLAW,: “Currently, we assess the things that were happening within the judiciary for the last few years as steps that led to significant transformational changes. We do hope that the current government would not slow down, but on the contrary, do whatever necessary to reinforce the judiciary”.
Anna Derevyanko, Executive Director, the European Business Association: “2020 has been a real challenge for the entire judiciary. The traditional problems were complicated by the pandemic consequences, which only highlighted the existing weaknesses, namely, cases consideration time and decisions preparation. While the professional community was quite understanding about the last year’s challenges, the mood of the company directors turned out to be more dramatic against the background of the current situation and the lack of progress in judicial reform implementation”.
The Court Index is a survey conducted by the European Business Association since 2013.
The survey objective is to constantly monitor and timely identify problematic aspects regarding the relationship between business and the judiciary in terms of general, administrative, and commercial courts operations in Ukraine.
The Court Index consists of three equivalent components:
- Assessment of the level of confidence in the judiciary by the heads of EBA member companies;
- Assessment of the judiciary impartiality;
- Average assessment of nine factors in the organization and operation of the judiciary.
The survey was conducted from 1 till 16 April 2021, 98 lawyers of member companies of the Association and 100+ top managers of companies took part in it. They also participated in 2 waves of the Investment Attractiveness Index of Ukraine in 2020.
In 2021, the survey partner is GOLAW law firm.