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July 09, 2007

Rule of Law Initiative's Ukraine Office Hosts Justice Sandra Day O'Connor for Rule of Law and Public Integrity Symposium


Retired United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor delivered the keynote address at the Rule of Law and Public Integrity Symposium, a program sponsored by the ABA Rule of Law Initiative’s Ukraine office. The symposium was held on Monday, June 11, 2007, in Kyiv, Ukraine. The symposium focused on the public integrity of governmental institutions entrusted with advancing and enforcing the rule of law in Ukraine. It consisted of three roundtable discussions in key areas of reform including: anti-corruption policies and legislative framework; judicial reform and accountability; and criminal justice reform and the adversarial process. U.S. Ambassador William B. Taylor and representatives of the presidential secretariat and prime minister’s office provided opening remarks. 

In her keynote address, Justice O’Connor emphasized that reform measures for all three branches must move beyond the conceptual vision and into implementation and enforcement. Ambassador Taylor also noted that recent political setbacks in Ukraine underscore the need to redouble efforts to combat corruption and ensure transparency and accountability in all branches of the government, including the judiciary. 

The Rule of Law Initiative's Ukraine office used the symposium as an opportunity to launch its Anti-Corruption Resource Center website, as well as to announce plans for further legislative gap analysis roundtables on key anti-corruption draft laws and legislation. These future roundtables will analyze how such draft legislation can help Ukraine meet international standards and comply with commitments it has made under various international conventions on corruption towards the goal of European integration.