"Judicial monitor" in the Chygyryn Court of the Cherkasy Region

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11:54 Wed 28.10.15 2325 Reviews

On 20 October 2015 a delegation of "Judicial monitor" composed of Mr Mark Segal, chief expert of the EU Project "Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine", Mr Leonid Lazebnyy, editor of the journal "Lawyer", and Mrs Lyudmila Gumenyuk, Executive Director of the Center for Media Reforms, arrived at the ancient capital of the Cossack Army - city of Chygyryn, to the Chygyryn Court of the Cherkasy region.

It is already one and a half years that the court has occupied the building, which was previously occupied by a bank. There is a pair of scales under the roof - a characteristic symbol of justice. It was possible to find and recognize the court located on the main street exactly due to this symbol, because it is visible from afar.

At the entrance, there is no wheelchair ramp, even though on the right side of the wall there is a call button in case one needs help (see photo). According to the court staff, the wheelchair ramp was not installed due to lack of funds, but we can assume that the investment in making easier the way through three incomplete steps for disabled persons would not be too big.

It is quite tight on the first of the two floors occupied by the court; the place to see the court information is intended only for one person. One can only stand near the other information board, and only in line, because there is a bench behind. Right above the entrance there is a board “Palace of Justice” – a particularity of the courts of Cherkasy region: the same board is proudly attached at the building of the Court of Appeal of the Cherkasy region which shares the premises with the Prydniprovskyy and Sosnivskyy District Courts of Cherkasy, in which the participants to the proceedings sometimes have to stand in the cabinets during the court hearings due to the lack of space, in particular, of the courtrooms.

The Chygyryn Court, in which three judges work, has three equipped courtrooms. Therefore, the space for consideration of cases is not insufficient, unlike the space for waiting. The message written on the doors of the courtrooms warns about the need to be patient, because it is impossible to foresee the duration of the court hearing.

Quite a limited space of the ground floor does not make it apparent that one is really in the "Palace of Justice", even though on the first floor, to which the entrance is prohibited, there is a lot of space that could be used efficiently, having added some space for waiting and easy familiarization with information. It would also be good to increase the office space, but one still needs money for that.

The guests talked with the head of the court’s registry Mr Anatoly Magda and his deputy, as well as the press secretary of the court, Ms Natalia Baranovska. They discussed the questions of implementation of the "Declaration on human rights in criminal proceedings", practical application by the court of Article 11 of the Law of Ukraine "On the Judiciary and Status of Judges" allowing video recording of court hearings without a special permission and questions of cooperation of the court with the media, since the training of press secretaries of the courts of general jurisdiction has just been completed in the region.

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