Ukrainian Judicial System Undergoes Reforms

    June 2016

    The Ukrainian Parliament recently passed draft laws to radically reform the judicial system of Ukraine. The reforms will be implemented through the laws outlined below. The laws will become effective three months after they have been signed by the president and published.

    Courts and Judges

    Law on Amendments to the Ukrainian Constitution in the Sphere of Justice, and Law on Judiciary and Status of Judges

    The proposed amendments are designed to reform the judicial system as a whole, as well as to significantly enhance judges’ independence and limit their immunity in case of malpractice. Some of the major changes in the judicial system that will positively affect companies doing business in Ukraine include:

    • Levels of the judicial system will decrease from a four tier to a three tier system, which will shorten the time span for resolving disputes. A court case can be heard and appealed through three courts – local courts, courts of appeal and the Supreme Court of Ukraine – in contrast to the prior four instances.
    • Specialized high courts, namely High Intellectual Property Court and High Anticorruption Court, will be created as courts of first instance. Such specialization will help achieve increased competence and shorter terms for dispute resolution.

    Enforcement System

    Law on Enforcement Proceedings (as amended), and Law on Bodies and Individuals to Enforce Court Decisions and Decisions of Other Bodies

    The enforcement system will undergo a number of important changes, including:

    • Introducing a combined enforcement system through modernizing state enforcement officers and introducing private enforcement officers (private bailiffs).
    • Generating an open, unified register of private enforcement officers. Such private enforcement officers are required to obtain professional liability insurance.
    • Generating an open, automated system for enforcement registration.
    • Generating an open, unified debtor register.

    The reforms will create competition in the enforcement system, streamline the formalities in its procedures and, consequently, enhance the effectiveness of the entire judicial system.

    We will continue to monitor and inform of changes affecting our clients.