Religious figures and lawyers draw attention to the imperfection of legal proceedings and the problem of correcting judicial errors
This conclusion was reached by the thematic round table participants from the cycle "establishing justice in Ukraine", which was held on March 17, 2021, in Ukrinform, the Institute for Religious Freedom reports.
The discussion on this issue was initiated by the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and religious organizations in cooperation with the Kharkiv Human Rights group with the assistance of the Department of External Relations of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine.
Archpriest Oleksa Petriv, a representative of the chairman of the AUCCRO, recalled that the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations stated in its appeal on the establishment of justice in Ukraine dated May 17, 2016, that justice as the basis of civil harmony on the land of Ukraine today is not enough.
Oleksa Petriv, the archpriest of the UGCC, noted: "This is often due to imperfect legislation, "callous" behavior of officials, unfair court decisions, and dubious integrity of many judges. All this together increases the negative attitude in society towards the judicial branch of government, and to the government as a whole."
According to the priest, the issue of a fair trial is not subject to distribution by affiliation on religious grounds, concerns both believers and non-believers, people without religion, and applies to all religious denominations. With conviction, we can testify that any person, without exception, can find himself in the status of a life sentence.
And this striking conclusion is confirmed by concrete examples, said Program Coordinator of the Kharkiv Human Rights Group Andriy Didenko. The website "struggle for life" presents stories of arbitrarily convicted people. These are different people, including the Christian pastor Yaroslav Misyak, and the Crimean Tatar Rashidbek Isakov, who professes the Muslim religion. Among them are people of different professions, with different knowledge and experience, the human rights activist stressed.
Supreme Court Judge Arkady Buschenko, former executive director of the Ukrainian Helsinki human rights Union, drew attention to the lack of an effective legal mechanism for reviewing court sentences. According to him, this is almost impossible without a decision of the European Court of human rights.
"I am confident that there is a problem, which is that the Supreme Court is practically deprived by our law of the opportunity to review sentences even in cases where we see that obvious mistakes have occurred, for example, certain violations of judicial proceedings," Arkady Buschenko, the Supreme Court judge said.
He proposes to return to the legislation of Ukraine the norm on the possibility of reviewing sentences for exceptional circumstances – the wording that existed before 2010. This refers to the possibility of reviewing sentences on the grounds of a significant violation of the Criminal Procedure Law, as well as a violation of the procedure and incorrect application of the criminal law.
First Deputy Senior Bishop of the Ukrainian Church of evangelical Christians Anatoly Kozachok said that the issue of establishing the rule of law and fair trial in society is one of the priorities of spiritual and social activities of Ukrainian churches.
"The Church, as God's institution, should stand up for the underprivileged and talk about injustice and promote mercy. At the same time, the authorities, including the judiciary, should feel responsible before God for their actions," Anatoly Kozachok believes.
The round table participants agreed that justice was and will continue to be the basis of cohabitation in a democratic society. First of all, courts based on the rule of law and the court's independence, which guarantees respect for the rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens, are called upon to ensure justice in modern states. This is especially true in cases involving the heaviest sentences, where the price of a deliberate, unintentional mistake is the highest value-the life and dignity of a person.
Video recording of the discussion on the topic "unresolved issue of the decade: lack of a procedure for correcting judicial errors in Ukraine. Ways to solve the problem".