The online kick-off meeting for the HELP course on Access to Justice for Women took place on 19 June 2020 with 32 participants, including Ukrainian judges from district, interdistrict, appeals and city courts, participants from the University of London and the National School of Judges, as well as the Council of Europe (CoE) office in Kiev, HELP Programme, and Gender Equality Division.
This course introduces judges and other legal professionals to practical knowledge of the Istanbul Convention and other European standards, and relevant case-law from the European Court of Human Rights.
Meeting participants were greeted by Olena Lytvynenko, the Deputy Head of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine who stressed the importance of achieving gender equality as a priority for the CoE and its member States, and noted that even if the legal status of women in Europe has improved in recent decades, effective equality between women and men is far from being a reality.
Nataliia Shuklina, the Vice-Rector of the School of Judges stated that, “for the 32 judges who will attend, the Access to Justice for Women course is of great importance”. Noting that the National School of Judges has been a longtime partner with the Council of Europe, she affirmed that the high level of participation in the course Kickoff was a sign that Ukrainian judges are keen to further their professional development and skills.
The participants will join 8 weeks of on-line training, discussions, and reflections on the implementation of the international standards of providing women with access to justice.
The course is part of the CoE European Programme for Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP), is being implemented in partnership with the Ukrainian National School of Judges through the CoE project “The Istanbul Convention: a tool to advance in fighting violence against women and domestic violence in Ukraine”. The HELP Access to Justice for Women course is being offered for the first time in Ukrainian and will subsequently be made available to Ukrainian legal professionals through the CoE website.