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Valentyn Gvozdiy: The survey results demonstrate trust of the business in the judicial system

The results of the survey “Court Index” conducted by the European Business Association in partnership with GOLAW law firm refute an allegation about total distrust in the judicial system.

This was stated by Valentyn Gvozdiy, Attorney-at-law, Managing Partner at GOLAW during the presentation of the survey.

An integral rate of the “Court Index” rose in 2020 up to 2.50 points under 5 possible rating system (in 2019 it constituted 2.45 points).

“Arguments of distrust in the courts do not always correspond to reality, as evidenced today’s survey results. What is litigation? The litigation means two parties. One of them will inevitably win, and another will fail in the court. In other words, exactly 50% of those who applied to the court and failed would be obviously unsatisfied,” he stated.

Valentyn Gvozdiy has presented statistics data disclosed by Valentyna Danishevska, Head of the Supreme Court of Ukraine that shows that only 14% of all cases considered by the first instance courts are reaching the Cassation Appeal.

This illustrates that having received the court decision people, in general, have trust in such court decisions

Valentyn states

As the survey results show, the experts are giving the highest scores to the accessibility of court decisions, judges’ qualifications and competence, the availability of judicial protection, while the worst ones – to the terms of taking court decisions.

Oleksii Malovatskyi, acting Chairman of the High Council of Justice, pointed out that some problems encountered by the business and individuals in courts, in particular, the long timelines for consideration of cases are conditioned by the external factors that cannot be prevented by judges themselves. In particular, it refers to the situation around the High Qualifications Commission of Judges of Ukraine whose operation has been blocked after the decision taken by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine due to which no new judges have been appointed for the last 1.5 years.

“According to the information provided by the State Judicial Administration, there have been   3.6 million cases in the judicial system for the last year. These 3.6 million cases should have been considered by 4,700 judges. Thus, in the big picture, a judge is burdened with around 760 cases. If we divide by the number of working days, it is about 4.13 cases a day,” he explained.

Within the “Court Index” survey the attitude of the business to the so-called “attorney monopoly”   has also been researched. 39% of respondents believe that the interests of parties to the case shall be represented by attorneys or parties themselves, and 24% believe that only by the attorneys.

Valentyn Gvozdiy highlighted that Ukraine currently has the necessary conditions for each to obtain the attorney services: the business is in a position to engage the defenders, while for the individuals who are unable to pay for such services, the State guarantees the   attorneys representation granted by free legal assistance system.

According to his words, the Ukrainian National Bar Association may influence those attorneys whose qualifications raise doubts. But it would not be able to influence those who are not the representatives of the attorney community.

When commenting on the issue of reimbursement for the costs of professional legal assistance provided by an attorney, Kateryna Manoylenko, Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice at GOLAW, stressed that there were objective reasons for   the business to be dissatisfied with the level of this reimbursement.

“The attorney community expects that the courts will be more respectful to our work and evaluate objectively the legal and professional assistance we provide,” she highlighted.

When speaking about the cases that reach the European Court of Human Rights after their consideration by Ukrainian courts, Hanna Yudkivska, judge at the European Court of Human Rights stated that the majority of cases brought to the court by legal entities referred to the right to have a fair trial and the protection of the ownership right.

As she stated, the arrest of accounts in the criminal proceedings against third parties that is often hard to appeal remains a substantial problem.

Anna Derevyanko, Executive Director of the European Business Association, points out that 2020 had become a real challenge for the entire judicial system.

“The traditional problems were complicated by the pandemic consequences which only aggravated the existing weaknesses, namely, timelines for case consideration and decision preparation,” she told.

According to Anna Derevyanko, business is currently expecting progress in the implementation of judicial reform.

Valentyn Gvozdiy

Valentyn Gvozdiy

Managing Partner, Attorney at law, PhD

  • Recognitions
  • Best Lawyers in Ukraine 2021
  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2020
  • Who’s Who Legal 2020
  • Ukrainian Law firms. A Handbook for Foreign Clients 2020
  • 50 leading law firms of Ukraine 2020
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