Ukraine News - March 2007
ABA-Ukraine Joins Working Group on Bar Development Process
Ukraine is a country where a unified Bar has not yet been established. The current Law on the Bar was adopted in 1992, however, it did not provide for creation of a unified Bar Association. In 1993, the concept of a unified Bar Association was approved, however, due to political and social conflicts between competing legal organizations, not much progress has been achieved. In March, 2007, a Working Group was created under a Parliamentary Committee with the goal to consolidate various competing draft laws which have been submitted to the Parliament in an attempt to unify the conflicting approaches to Bar Association development. It is anticipated that a single Draft Law on the Bar will be developed and ultimately adopted by the Parliament.
On March 27, 2007, Galyna Polishchuk, Criminal Law Program Manager, was included as a permanent member of this Working Group on the development of the Law on the Bar. ABA-Ukraine will provide comprehensive analysis of the submitted Draft Laws and their compliance with International and European standards, as well as offer general technical and administrative support in facilitating the process. ABA-Ukraine’s work with the various legal organizations in Bar Association development and continuing legal education through its Defense Advocacy Schools will allow for a strong contribution to the legal drafting process of this key legislation for legal profession development in Ukraine.
Contact person: Galyna Polishchuk, Criminal Law Program Manager ([email protected]).
ABA-Ukraine Featured in Chamber of Commerce Magazine
ABA-Ukraine’s growing expertise in the area of anti-corruption has been recognized and featured in the March edition of the American Chamber of Commerce’s publication in Ukraine, Commerce: Successful Business in Ukraine. Deputy Country Director Tanya Khavanska drafted a Comment Article on the impact of corruption to the business and investment community in Ukraine, which was featured in the publication’s recent edition devoted entirely to the issue of corruption. In this article, Ms. Khavanska outlined the impact that corruption creates in distorting economic decision-making, deterring investment, undermining competitiveness, and ultimately weakening economic growth. The Article also laid out measures which could be undertaken by the government of Ukraine to reduce corruption through a variety of legal and institutional reforms, including streamlined business regulations, stronger customs and tax administration, trade liberalization, policy reforms, improvement of the procurement system, and reform of the civil service and judicial systems.
This publication is distributed on a monthly basis to over 10,000 national and international businesses, as well as on all business class airline flights in and out of Ukraine.
Contact person: Tanya Khavanska, Deputy Country Director ([email protected]).
ABA-Ukraine Launches Counter-Human Trafficking Project and Diversifies Funding Sources
In an effort to seek new and diverse funding sources for its programs, ABA-Ukraine has developed a number of new project proposals which seek funding from European and other non-US funding sources. The first successful example of this effort was launched in March, 2007, and is a new project in the area of counter-human trafficking for the development of a model Confiscation Fund in Ukraine. The project is funded by International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), and aims at assessing the existing confiscation procedures and institutional framework in Ukraine towards the possibility of creating a crime-specific Confiscation Fund or criminal asset forfeiture mechanism. The objective of the project is to provide an overview and analysis into comparable mechanisms of crime-specific Confiscation Funds being implemented in other countries, such as the U.S., Australia, UK and Germany, in order to adapt that concept to a crime-specific Confiscation Fund for human trafficking crimes in Ukraine. The initial phase of this project will be a four month assessment exercise to conduct the comparative analysis, as well as determine the level of receptiveness and interest in the concept by the relevant Ukrainian authorities and agencies. If the concept is accepted by the relevant authorities, the project foresees a possibility of subsequent stages for the further development and implementation of the selected model in Ukraine.
School of Professional Skills Development for Defense Attorneys
On March 10-13, 2007, the fourth School of Professional Skills Development for Defense Attorneys took place in Kyiv. The Schools are organized for defense attorneys from various regions of Ukraine who have recently received their licenses, but have very little practical experience. The Schools are fertile grounds for advocates to network and make contacts, share ideas, and receive practical tips and advice on how to improve the weakened state of the legal profession in the country, since there is no established system of continued legal education and no unified Bar Association in Ukraine.
The curriculum of this School consisted of issues related to legal ethics, professional responsibility, prospects of bar development, trial skills, pre-trial detention, preventive measures as alternatives to incarceration, and international standards on preventive measures selection. Special attention was given to the restorative justice concept, which is rather new for Ukraine and gives an opportunity to view the criminal justice process from the relationship between the victim and accused, which is especially relevant for juvenile cases. Prominent and well-known defense attorneys provided young advocates with essential advice and relevant recommendations on how to comply with the Code of Ethics and work effectively under the current legislation and institutional law enforcement framework. Through this series of Schools, ABA-Ukraine hopes to promote a continuing legal education system for advocates, which would complement and advance their work on a draft Advocacy Statute and unified Bar Association for Ukraine.
Information provided by Galyna Polishchuk, Criminal Law Program Manager([email protected])
Institution-Building Program Gives NGO Partners Financial Management Workshop
On March 25-26, 2007, ABA-Ukraine conducted a two-day Financial Management Workshop for its NGO partners and legal aid clinics. This is the third in a series of Institution-Building workshops aimed at enhancing the sustainability and institutional capacity of the legal aid clinics and advocacy organizations which receive sub-grants from ABA-Ukraine. Topics selected for these workshops are based on the data collected for the Sustainability Index and needs assessments conducted for all partner organizations. Previous workshops were held on the topics of Strategic Project Management and Project Monitoring and Evaluation.
The goal of this workshop was to formulate a better understanding of the financial management requirements for NGOs and to give the participants the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure proper management and accountability on issues, such as income and expense reporting, budgets, financial controls, cash flow management and general financial administration. Special attention was paid to relevant tax requirements for non-profit organizations. In addition, the topics of social marketing, revenue generation and copyright procedures were discussed towards helping these partner NGOs build the foundation for long-term financial sustainability.
The next workshop will be dedicated to Human Resources Management and will take place in May, 2007.
Contact person: Yana Naralskaya,Institution-Building Advisor ([email protected]).
First Benchmarks Met on the Way to Law Enforcement Reform in Ukraine
ABA-Ukraine has been a long-standing partner of the Ukrainian government in the reform process of the law enforcement system and relevant agencies within the framework of the Law Enforcement Reform Project funded by the INL office in Ukraine. The project is aimed at providing assistance to the National Security and Defense Council and National Commission on Rule of Law and Democracy in the development of the concept and implementation plan for the comprehensive structural reform of Ukraine's law-enforcement system along EU norms. Extensive work conducted on this issue over the past two years was finalized in the Concept on Criminal Justice Reform in Ukraine at the meeting of the National Commission on Rule of Law and Democracy, held on March 26, 2007. ABA-Ukraine has the status of an observer at the Commission and actively participated in the drafting of the section on law enforcement reform. The next steps will include commentaries by the Council of Europe (CoE) on the Concept, which will be developed by CoE experts in cooperation and with the support from ABA-Ukraine. The submission of the final Concept for approval by the President is planned for April 24, 2007. This event marks a long process of identifying and encouraging changes within the key law enforcement institutions, which will impact the most conservative of these agencies and clear the path for reform in the criminal justice system of Ukraine.
Contact person: Tanya Khavanska, Deputy Country Director ([email protected]).
Legal Aid Services as a Human Right Discussed in Ukraine
On March 27-30, 2007, Kyiv hosted an international conference on the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights through Provision of Legal Services: Best Practices from Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. The conference was organized by the Danish Institute for Human Rights, REDRESS (UK) and Kherson’s Regional Charity and Health Foundation (Ukraine) with support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), ABA Rule of Law Initiative – Ukraine, and International Renaissance Foundation.
The conference gathered more than one hundred-twenty government officials, NGO representatives, activists and scholars from all over the world to discuss the provision of legal aid services in Ukraine, Malawi, China, South Africa, Russia, Uganda, Nepal, Zambia and many other countries, as well as common problems encountered and strategies for addressing those problems. Topics of discussion during the event included challenges in the establishment and operation of legal aid networks; performance indicators and quality standards for service delivery; strategies for pursuing human rights advocacy through legal services programs; and rights issues in the criminal justice process.
ABA-Ukraine has been very active in the establishment and promotion of a legal aid system in Ukraine through its support of a network of legal aid clinics providing specialized legal aid services to vulnerable populations, as well as opportunities for practical skills development for law students through university clinic programs.
Prepared by Maryana Kulya, Clinical Legal Education Program Coordinator ([email protected]).
ABA-Ukraine Welcomes New Staff Members
ABA-Ukraine is pleased to announce the addition of two new members to its program staff. Ihor Osyka has been hired as their new Law Enforcement Reform Program Coordinator and comes to ABA with significant law enforcement and criminal law experience having served as a police officer since 1992, lawyer since 1996, and criminal law professor at the Kharkive National University of Internal Affairs for the past 10 years. He has an LL.M. from Chicago-Kent University of Law in International and Comparative Law and has recently defended his doctoral thesis on the issue of electronic forgery in Ukraine. Ihor’s primary responsibilities will be in the further development and implementation of the Law Enforcement Reform Concept in cooperation with the relevant Ministries and law enforcement agencies, as well as support to ABA-Ukraine’s other criminal law programs.
In addition, Yuri Gavryliuk has joined the office in the capacity of Anti-Corruption Project Coordinator to assist with the planning, development and implementation of ABA-Ukraine’s expanded anti-corruption programming. Yuri has substantial experience in analytical methodologies and post-conflict transformation having served with the UN International Police Task Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Analytical-Methodological Division, Forensic Research Center for the Ministry of Interior in Ukraine. He has most recently served as a Consultant/Mentor with the United States Institute of Peace providing trainings for officials and civil society representatives in the U.S., Iraq, Moldova, Poland and Ukraine. Yuri has his law degree from the National Academy of Internal Affairs with a Master of Science from George Mason University, Peace Operations Program in Virginia, U.S.