Criminal Justice Professor, Giuseppe M. Fazari was engaged by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to help strengthen the administration of justice in the Supreme Court of the Ukraine. Focusing on caseflow management and policies and procedures designed to improve courtroom procedure, Fazari designed and delivered training to the Supreme Court.
While Fazari has consulted both domestically and abroad before his trips to the Ukraine, he noted, "this particular project was unique because Ukraine's constitution was only ratified in 1996 with several amendments that have since passed. Their democracy is still in its infancy stages and so if there was ever a way to travel back in time to more fully consider how it was like to work with our first Chief Justice, John Jay, this would be it."
The Nove Pravosuddya Justice Sector Reform Program (New Justice) in Ukraine was established and designed by USAID to support, among other responsibilities, the judiciary's mission to serve its citizenry and society and to create and continually improve upon its administration so as to safeguard an independent, accountable, transparent, and effective justice system. The New Justice Program sets forth 5 objectives including 1) to strengthen judicial independence and self-governance, 2) increase accountability and transparency of the judiciary to citizens and the rule of law, 3) enhance the administration of justice, 4) to strengthen the quality of legal education, and 4) to protect access to justice while expanding human rights.
In accordance with those objectives and overarching mission, this past summer the USAID sought Criminal Justice Professor, Giuseppe M. Fazari, given his subject matter expertise in judicial administration, to develop and implement caseflow management strategies, policies, and procedures for managing court operations and providing quality service to the Ukraine public. Following his consultation on a wide range of issues that affect the disposition of appellate level cases, Fazari provided extensive training in the principles and application of caseflow management to a large cohort of judges and judicial assistants.
The Supreme Court of Ukraine commenced operation on December 15, 2017, after which decrees on the consolidation of appeal and local courts with the aim to achieve a more structured and efficient justice system were signed into law. The newly-instituted judiciary established working groups to address issues related to the unification of case law, quality of court decisions and communications, administration, management, and anticorruption measures. Among other tasks, Fazari developed a wide-ranging questionnaire which accounted for 12 areas of inquiry including court administration, judicial policy making, judicial powers, allocation of resources, administrative support for the judiciary, training, judicial performance standards, automation, procedural issues, local legal culture, caseload and trials, and caseflow management. Fazari then utilized a court administration paradigm that he developed from his experiences as an executive judicial administrator to provide the court with a series of recommended strategies and training in the core areas of managing the court. The model that he has presented on extensively is centered on 10 areas of application with the purposes and responsibilities of the courts serving as its foundation. It also delineates how the administrative functions differ in their governance/aspirational and management/operational capacity.
During his two visits to the country, the area of focus was on case management, a key responsibility because of how crucial he believes it to be on the operations of any judiciary – new or old. Fazari's model depicts equivalent importance along a range of judicial functions, but he stated caseflow management "is at the very heart of the model because it represents the 'product' of the court's work. It ensures that individual justice is given to individual cases through the coordination of activities and resources so that it is not compromised or otherwise not attained due to unnecessary delay. Delay, perhaps more than any other single factor, vitiates all other efforts made by the court to achieve justice."
Fazari, a co-author of the recently published Historical Dictionary of American Criminal Justice, continues to collaborate with the Ukraine judiciary to deliver the training to all of its jurists.
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