On 13 September 2023, 26 judges from different regions of Ukraine, as well as representatives of the National School of Judges of Ukraine, took part in the launch of the HELP course "Procedural Guarantees in Criminal Proceedings and Victims' Rights". The training will last for 11 weeks and is organised by the Council of Europe Project "HELP (Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals) for Ukraine, including during wartime" in partnership with the National School of Judges of Ukraine.
The presentation of the course was held in Kyiv, at the premises of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine with the participation of representatives of the Council of Europe Project HELP in Ukraine.
The course "Procedural Guarantees in Criminal Proceedings and Victims Rights" was adapted and will be delivered by tutors Yulia Ivanina, judge of the Dniprovskyi District Court of Kyiv, trainer of the National School of Judges of Ukraine, and Veronika Plotnikova, Head of the Coordination Center for Support of Victims and Witnesses of the Prosecutor General's Office.
The launch was opened by Tamara Zakrevska, Acting Head of the Trainers` Training Department of the National School of Judges of Ukraine, and Erlend Falch, Deputy Head of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine. Mr. Falch said: "European Human Rights law confers upon states certain obligations and responsibilities, including positive obligations to investigate and prosecute crimes. When investigating and prosecuting, the authorities have a crucial responsibility to uphold European Human Rights standards concerning the rights of victims and suspects”.
When adapting the course to the national legislation of Ukraine, special attention was paid to the examination of problematic issues related to the procedural status of the victim, the transfer of his rights and obligations to other persons, issues of judicial control over the observance of the rights of victims and ensuring the rights of victims of war crimes, familiarization of the participants with court decisions in the relevant category of cases, application of the knowledge gained during the implementation of practical tasks, knowledge check and discussion of the course participants in the forum.
Within the national adaptation of the course, participants will deepen their knowledge of the legislation on the protection of victims' rights, get acquainted with the relevant practice of the ECtHR and national judicial practice.
Veronika Plotnikova informed the participants about the development of a victim support mechanism in Ukraine and spoke about international experience using Croatia as an example.
Mykola Gnatovskyy, Judge at the European Court of Human Rights, gave an overview of ECtHR judgments in the context of procedural guarantees in criminal proceedings and victims' rights.
Based on the results of the courses and tasks developed by the tutors, the participants will receive the relevant certificates of the Council of Europe HELP Programme and the National School of Judges of Ukraine.
All participants received the publications from the Council of Europe Project “Support to the functioning of justice in the war and post-war context in Ukraine", including an overview of the ECHR case law for 2016-2021 and documents of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE).