Peace, rule of law, good governance and respect for human rights are key pillars for the development of Ukraine. The continuing military activities in the East, constant political turmoil, rampant corruption and distrust in justice are questioning the lessons from the Maidan revolution.
The justice system is at the epicenter of the debates within and outside the country. There is no doubt that an effective, independent and transparent judiciary is essential for Ukraine. It is also clear that the people of Ukraine, its businesses and international partners have little trust in the judiciary. But what can be done to improve the justice system?
In August 2015, we asked 6500 randomly selected citizens from all regions of Ukraine. We interviewed men and women, people from the regions where were not under governmental control, internally displaced people, young and old.
Based on our survey we conclude that slightly more than half the citizens of Ukraine (53%) encountered a serious justice need in the past four years. ‘Serious’, means that the problem had a major impact on their lives with a negative effect on health, income, and relationships. These needs amount to millions of disputes, grievances, and crimes taking place in Ukraine every year.
Consumer disputes, employment problems, disagreements between neighbours and housing grievances are the most prevalent justice needs. Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) faced most of their justice problems around securing housing, obtaining identity documents, receiving aid from the government and damage to property caused by military action.