On 28 November 2017, the Seminar for judges of local administrative courts and administrative courts of appeal on “Election dispute resolution: international standards, European Court of Human Rights case law, national practice in Ukraine” was held in Kyiv. The seminar was organised by the National School of Judges of Ukraine in cooperation with the Council of Europe.
During the Seminar, more than 40 judges of the national administrative courts of appeal discussed international standards on protection of electoral rights of citizens and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights in electoral matters.
Particular focus was made on the results of the national court practice analysis and specifics of election dispute resolution by administrative courts of Ukraine and application of substantive legislation in election dispute resolution during Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Elections in Ukraine in 2014 and 2015.
Well-known national and international experts took part in the event as key speakers, namely: Mr. Dmytro Tretyakov, lawyer at the ECHR Registry, Mr. Mykhailo Smokovych, Judge of the Supreme Court, Doctor in Law, Mr. Sergii Kalchenko, expert of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, Mr. Yuriy Kliuchkovskyi, professor, Department of legal theory and state legal sciences of the National University “Kyiv Mohyla Academy”.
When opening the seminar, Mr. Marten Ehnberg, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine, welcomed the participants and noted that electoral legislation, including the electoral system and approaches to electoral administration, as well as the system of complaints and appeals against violations of electoral legislation and its effectiveness, influence the results and the level of public trust toward elections and democracy in general. European electoral standards, particularly, on the election dispute resolution, are primarily aimed to ensure the implementation of the basic principles of electoral law: universal, equal, free, direct suffrage and the principle of secret ballot. In order to ensure compliance with these principles, judicial bodies should be independent and their activities should be transparent, effective and aimed at ensuring the rights and interests of citizens.
Following the Seminar and the results of respective discussions, the first meeting of the working group on the development of a training course (training) for national judges on electoral law and election dispute resolution took place on 29 November 2017. The respective working group has been established under the auspices of the National School of Judges of Ukraine. Its further work on the training course, its development and testing, will be conducted with the support of the Council of Europe during 2018.
The organisation of both events were supported by the joint Council of Europe/EU Partnership for Good Governance project and by the Council of Europe projects on “Assistance to the Ukrainian authorities in reforming electoral legislation and in conducting constitutional reform” and “Reform of the electoral practice in Ukraine”.