Pravo-Justice Project and Representatives of the Judiciary Discussed the Introduction of Services for Vulnerable Court Users

25.05.2023 |

On May 24, the EU Project Pravo-Justice organized the round table “Progress and Challenges Regarding the Implementation of Services for Vulnerable Court Users” within the framework of the Model Courts Initiative.

At the event, representatives of courts shared their experience in creating and developing services for vulnerable users and discussed the problems that arise within this process today.

Anna Adamska-Gallant, Key International Expert, Judiciary Component Lead, EU Project Pravo-Justice project, welcomed the participants to the round table and emphasized the importance of implementing services for vulnerable users of court services even under martial law.

“Unfortunately, there are many victims of war crimes in Ukraine today, and new vulnerable categories have arisen. Therefore, it is crucial to have a judicial system that would be ready to help vulnerable court visitors. At the same time, we have already seen many courts, implementing and developing services for vulnerable court users on their own initiative, even in the difficult situation the judicial system of Ukraine has found itself in because of the war. We welcome and encourage such initiatives on the ground,” said Anna Adamska-Gallant.

Yevheniia Bondarenko, National Expert of the EU Project Pravo-Justice, spoke about the progress in the implementation of services for vulnerable court users.

“Since 2020, more than 50 projects have already been implemented in courts; interdepartmental cooperation has been established; a methodology for creating services for vulnerable people has been developed; three waves of the training course “ToT on the Implementation of Services for Vulnerable Court Users” have been delivered; and an Interactive Guide for trainers who will be teaching the course has been created. The Project provides coordination and mentorship and helps spreading best practices of the courts among Ukrainian and foreign colleagues,” said Yevheniia Bondarenko.

Natalia Korol, Head of the CSO “All-Ukrainian Association of Court Employees”, Chief of Staff of the Vinnytsia Court of Appeal, spoke in more detail about inter-institutional cooperation in the process of providing services for vulnerable court users. She highlighted that aspect giving as an example the establishment of the Support Service for Victims of Domestic Violence.

"The Service’s activities include providing support by accompanying during visits to the court; facilitating participation by providing a waiting area; referring victims to other support services; providing the necessary information in an accessible and understandable manner. The Service has already been presented to the working group on the prevention of domestic violence of the Interdepartmental Council on Family, Gender Equality, Prevention of Domestic Violence, and Combating Human Trafficking, and at the Forum on Changing Social Norms to Prevent Domestic Violence “Krygolamy” (Ice-Breakers),” said Nataliia Korol.

Oleksiy Nesterenko, judge-speaker, and Alina Kirakosian, deputy chief of staff, Inguletskyi District Court of the city of Kryvyi Rih, Dnipropetrovsk region; as well as Andrii Malanii, representative of the territorial unit of the Court Security Service in the Ivano-Frankivsk region, shared best practices of implementing services for vulnerable court users.