EU is delivering innovative customer-oriented solutions to Vyshhorod District Court of Kyiv Region
On 5 July 2021, an integrated reception was opened in the Vyshhorod District Court of Kyiv Oblast, equipped with support by the EU Project Pravo-Justice, in cooperation with the Territorial Department of the State Judicial Administration of Ukraine in Kyiv region.
Submitting and receiving documents, obtaining references, finding one’s way around the court premises – from now on, these services are available to court users at a one-stop-shop – the court’s integrated front desk. With this, the Vyshhorod District Court of Kyiv Region has introduced European approaches to visitor service provision.
The integrated front desk will be the first contact point between a visitor and the court staff. The key functions include providing a wide range of court services, effective communication, and facilitating the visitor's interaction with the court. Equally important is the security aspect – the court will be able to control the flow of visitors and address security challenges in the court building, in particular, limit the out-of-court interaction between visitors and judges or court employees. Integrated front desk improves internal organization of court operation what increases its efficiency, quality and comfort of staff.
"Having courts that are client-oriented and even able to help the most vulnerable find their way in the complex matters of court administration is very important to improve access to justice. Integrated front desks where all requests can be addressed, are one of the best tools courts can use to make justice easier for citizens. If people have a positive impression of how, and how efficiently, court staff welcome and treat them, public trust towards that specific court and in the judicial system as a whole can only go up. It is a very practical and efficient way of tackling the issue of trust, while improving the way the court itself is managed,” said Remi Duflot, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, at the opening of the renovated client-oriented premises of the Vyshhorod District Court of Kyiv Region.
The opening of the integrated front desk is one of the points from a set of applied solutions developed by international and national experts of the Model Courts Initiative by the EU Project Pravo-Justice in order to improve court operation.
Six courts were selected throughout Ukraine in 2018, in the framework of the Model Courts Initiative, to implement, in cooperation with European and national experts, new practices in court management, enhance client-orientedness, and increase security. The selected courts include Vyshhorod District Court of Kyiv Region, Halytskyi District Court of Lviv, Kovel City District Court of Volyn Region, Koroliovskyi District Court of Zhytomyr, Kramatorsk City Court of Donetsk Region, Lozova City District Court of Kharkiv Region.
As of 2021, all six model courts have changed dramatically – they have put in practice a number of new client-oriented solutions and HR-strategies; introduced volunteer services; improved security; and became more inclusive in a broader sense.
“Greater client-orientedness, reduced time spent by participants in the court premises outside the courtroom, and digitalization of court processes are the key lines of our external communication at the moment. Model Courts Initiative and the Territorial Department of the SJA of Ukraine in Kyiv region are our mentors who help us implementing the idea of a model court and model solutions in order to become more open, better understood, and more accessible to citizens,” said Iryna Kotliarova, President of the Vyshhorod District Court of Kyiv Region.
It took two years to re-equip the premises of Vyshhorod District Court of Kyiv Region in accordance with a set of model solutions recommended by the European and national experts. As a consequence, the renovated court obtained a more “human face”: friendly interior, efficient communicators at the integrated front desk, charging stations, door signs and electronic docket display system, waiting area for children as well as student volunteers who help addressing vulnerable court users.
“There are many Ukrainian courts keen to improve the way how they operate, also through implementation of the best European practices in this area. Customer-oriented approach is an element that helps to increase trust in the judiciary. The Model Court Initiative allows not only to learn from international experience but also creates a space for exchange of good initiatives and solutions implemented by Ukrainian courts on their own initiative,” said Anna Adamska-Gallant, International Key Expert, Judiciary Component Lead.
In 2021, another 70 courts from all over Ukraine joined the Model Courts initiative, seeking to introduce new approaches to providing services to visitors. Such cooperation between the judicial governance bodies, judges and court staff has made the Model Courts initiative a platform for good practices and a unique platform for sharing best European and Ukrainian experiences.
The Model Courts Initiative of the EU Project Pravo-Justice aims at improving access to justice by increasing the client- orientedness, security, and inclusiveness of Ukrainian courts.
Model solutions for courts, developed by the Initiative’s experts, constitute a list of practical measures to be applied in courts in order to solve a number of problems that Ukrainian justice faces on a daily basis. Recommendations and solutions were developed after multiple visits to Ukrainian courts, meetings with legal practitioners, representatives of public organizations working with people with disabilities, as well as on the basis of specialized reports of international organizations. All solutions have been designed taking into account the expectations of the end users of the judicial system, i.e. representatives of the Ukrainian judiciary and the public, as well as based on the experts’ experience and knowledge of best practices applied in Western countries such as Poland, France, and the Netherlands.
Documents developed by the experts to improve the court operation: