пятница, 16 марта 2012 г.

The Ukrainian Court System

The judicial system of Ukraine consists of four levels of courts of general jurisdiction, as follows:
  • Local courts of general jurisdiction (combining criminal and civil jurisdiction) consisting of district, urban district and town courts; regional courts; city courts in Kyiv and Sevastopol; administrative local courts. 
  • Appeals courts consisting of the appeals court of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea; regional appeals courts; appeals courts of the cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol; the appeals court of the Ukrainian Navy; regional military appeals courts; economic appeals courts (known also as arbitration courts); administrative appeals courts 
  • High courts  with specialized jurisdiction: The Appeals Court of Ukraine, covering civil, criminal and military cases; The High Administrative Court of Ukraine, covering administrative cases; The High Arbitration Court of Ukraine, covering economic and commercial cases 
  • The Supreme Court covering all cases.
The courts enjoy legal, financial and constitutional freedom guaranteed by measures adopted in Ukrainian law in 2002. Judges are protected from dismissal (save in instances of gross misconduct). Senior judges are nominated by parliament and are appointed by presidential decree for a period of five years, after which Ukraine's Supreme Council confirms them for life in an attempt to insulate them from politics. Although there are still problems with the performance of the system, it is considered to have been much improved since Ukraine's independence in 1991. The Supreme Court is regarded as being an independent and impartial body, and has on several occasions ruled against the Ukrainian Government.

The prison system operates within a legislative framework in which the most important instruments are the Criminal Code, the Criminal Procedural Code and the Criminal Executive Code. The new Criminal Code of Ukraine came into force on 1 September 2001. The main changes were:
  • capital punishment was replaced by life imprisonment and cannot be imposed on anyone under 18 or over 65
  • new kinds of punishment were introduced (Article 51), including “arrest” (one to six months custody), “limitation of personal freedom” (placement in an open prison) and community sanctions
  • the new law also made parole available to all categories of prisoner.