In August 2020, 26 Ukrainian judges from district, inter-district, appeals and city courts completed an online course on Access to Justice for Women, part of the Council of Europe HELP Programme (Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals). With the successful completion of this course, Ukrainian judges have further developed their competences to uphold international and European gender equality standards, avoid gender stereotyping and ensure equal access to justice for women. The inaugural run of this course is a joint initiative by the Council of Europe and the Ukrainian National School of Judges.
The Access to Justice for Women course is the first HELP course to provide a single resource on gender equality and justice covering the extensive Council of Europe standards, other international instruments as well as promising practices in implementation. The course focuses in particular on the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, consisting of six substantive modules: Introduction to the concept of access to justice; International and European legal framework; Discrimination on the grounds of sex and gender; Avoiding gender stereotyping; Practical guidance to improve women’s access to justice; and applying a Gender sensitive approach to the practice of law. The course has been adapted to the Ukrainian legal order by two national tutors – judges Mykolai Perekopskiy and Valeriia Babko, who moderated the course online and hosted face-to-face sessions.
The HELP Access to Justice for Women course is available in Ukrainian and English, providing Ukrainian legal professionals with support to better understand barriers for women to access justice and to develop a gender sensitive skill set for application in their daily work. The course was implemented under the Council of Europe project, The Istanbul Convention: a tool to advance in fighting violence against women and domestic violence in Ukraine.
As with the HELP course on Violence against Women, the HELP Access to Justice for Women course will be made freely available in Ukrainian for legal professionals and other interested parties by December 2020.