On 28 September 2021 the Council of Europe, in cooperation with the Office of the Prosecutor General, organised a high-level conference on the reform of the public prosecution service in Ukraine. The conference aimed at taking stock of achievements as well as challenges of the reform that was underway since autumn 2019, and discussing further steps necessary for bringing about independent, transparent and efficient public prosecution service in Ukraine that is in line with the European standards and best practices.
The event brought together all key national and international actors, including the Prosecutor General, other high officials of the Office of the Prosecutor General, prosecutors from regional and district prosecutor’s offices, the leadership and members of the newly elected prosecutorial self-government and disciplinary bodies, members of the Parliament, representatives of the Prosecutors’ Training Center, international development partners and civil society organisations, international and national experts.
In his opening remarks, Steen Norlov, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine, highlighted that was important to reflect on and acknowledge achievements of the reform, be mindful of the existing challenges and focus on possible next steps. This reflection is important to move forward towards the ultimate goal of the reform – a public prosecution service that is independent, transparent and efficient, with high standards of integrity, fully in line with the European standards and best practices.
Iryna Venediktova, Prosecutor General of Ukraine, thanked the Council of Europe for long standing cooperation and support in the reform of the public prosecution service of Ukraine. She underlined that the transition period of 2019-2021 had ended with reshuffling of the public prosecution service and forming of the new self-government and disciplinary bodies of the new convocations, the latter two being key for the prosecutorial independence.
In his keynote speech, Christophe Poirel, Director for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, noted that the reform of the prosecution service remains one of the accession commitments of Ukraine before the Council of Europe. “We recognise that over the recent years the Ukrainian authorities have taken considerable steps towards the fulfilment of this goal. Likewise, we acknowledge the challenges still to be addressed on the way towards the accomplishment of the reform”, stated the Director.
The conference comprised of two panels. Panel I was dedicated to the public prosecution service reform in Ukraine in the light of the principles of transparency, independence and integrity, whereas Panel II was focused on the efficiency and professionalism of the prosecutor’s activity as a benchmark for further development of the public prosecution service.
The conference was organised within the framework of the Council of Europe Project “Human Rights Compliant Criminal Justice System in Ukraine” Phase II, which is a part of the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine 2018-2022.