UKRAINIAN RELIGIOUS LEADERS STAND FOR INDEPENDENT AND JUST JUDICIAL SYSTEM

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www.risu.org.ua – May 2016

The Ukrainian Council of Churches and religious organizations expressed readiness for dialogue and cooperation with the leaders and all the panel of judges of Ukraine for  justice in the state based on the rule of law.

Religious leaders issued a joint appeal on establishment of justice in Ukraine at the meeting of the All-Ukraine Council of Churches, held on 17 May under the chairmanship of Senior Bishop Leonid Padun of the Ukrainian Christian Evangelical Church, the Institute of Religious Freedom reports.

“We urge Ukrainian judges to seek more justice in the norms of law, taking into account not only the letter but also the spirit of the law based on justice and r find more courage to separate from dishonest colleagues – from the persons whose action or inaction is incompatible with high position of a judge,” the AUCCRO statement goes.

Meanwhile, Council of Churches denounced the radical actions of some leaders who “incite hatred and contempt of court, inciting people to commit openly illegal, and sometimes criminal, violent acts against judges.” According to religious leaders, such actions destroy the authority of the court and respect thereto, destroy faith in righteousness and justice which is the obstacle to judicial reform.

Before considering of the appeal, the meeting heard a judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Petro Stetsiuk who described the stages of the judicial system of Ukraine, the century-long history of modern Ukrainian judiciary, challenges and features of judicial reform.

Head of the UGCC Supreme Archbishop Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) stressed the importance of consolidating efforts of the AUCCRO as one of the largest institutions of civil society in promoting dialogue and cooperation with the leadership of the judiciary and the judiciary as a whole to promote judicial reform, strengthening judicial independence and fair judiciary in Ukraine.

Assistant Chief Rabbi of Kyiv and Ukraine, Doctor of Law Gennady Bilorytskyy stressed the important role of judges in society, which is assigned to them in the Scriptures. “God’s will in this world is realized through justice, in consequence of which people say there is God in this world,” he stressed.

During the meeting, religious leaders also planned international events for this year. In particular, to strengthen the friendly Polish-Ukrainian relations, it was decided to carry out in the near future visit of the official delegation of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations in the Republic of Poland to strengthen good neighborly relations and mutually beneficial relations between civil societies of Ukraine and Poland.

According to the Regulations, the AUCCRO presidency in the next six-month period has passed to the head of Evangelical Baptist Union of Ukraine Valery Antoniuk.

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