Transparent court: EUAM organised conference for Supreme Court judges on effective communicationsOctober 06, 2015
They all work for one purpose – the Rule of Law. The judges from Netherlands and the judges of Ukrainian Supreme Court met for the first time. Wery Rutger and Marc Bax both work in criminal departments, but in different cities and courts of Holland. The invitation from European Union Advisory Mission (EUAM) and the openness to share their experience on communication with public and media took them to Ukraine.
Speaking different languages doesn’t matter when it comes to professionals, working in the same field, but the “openness” and the “transparency” of the court are the new terms in the glossary of Ukrainian judges. “We don’t have such experience on effective interaction with civil society through media as our colleagues from the countries with more stable democracies. Judges can’t implement justice effectively without public trust, because they are a part of the society they serve”, underlined the Head of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, Yaroslav Romaniuk.Judge Marc Bax shared with Ukrainian colleagues his experience of working as a press judge. It is a common practise of Dutch courts for almost forty years to appoint a judge as a spokesperson responsible for communications with the media on behalf of the court with respect to legal actions and decisions. Press judges are appointed at all court levels: district, Courts of Appeal and at the level of the Supreme Court. Each court has two or more press judges. “Visible Justice”, the presentation of the judge Wery Rutger spoke about openness and transparency of the system. “How does the Dutch Judiciary gather and preserve the support and trust of Dutch society? The answer is short: by showing what the individual judge and the judiciary do”, stated Wery Rutger.
The idea and the practical realisation of the workshop “Effective Communication: the Way to a Transparent Court” with judges and employees of the Supreme Court of Ukraine was developed by Victor Reuter, the ex-Head of EUAM Press and Public Information Office and nowadays a strategic communications reform advisor, the Head of Press and Public Information Office with the Luxumbourg Police. “The judges of different Supreme Court Chambers discussed for the first time with EUAM their possibilities and interest to communicate, to open themselves, to be transparent and accountable to society”, stressed Victor Reuter.
“In order for courts to communicate with media and citizens directly, they need to have an internal structure to decide who will communicate, what to communicate and when. We are grateful to Mr. Romaniuk to his support for the development of a communication strategy with the communication department of the Supreme Court. We are looking forward to our cooperation to make sure that the strategy will not stay just as a strategy, but will be implemented to a working practice”, concluded Robert Boer, the Head of EUAM Administration of Justice Advisory Unit.
The Head of Supreme Court confirmed the continuation of a joint project “Transparent Court” with EUAM aiming to increase confidence of the civil society in the Supreme Court of Ukraine.