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Beyond the EuromaidanComparative Perspectives on Advancing Reform in Ukraine$
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Henry E. Hale and Robert W. Orttung

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804798457

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804798457.001.0001

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Judicial Reform in Comparative Perspective: Assessing the Prospects for Ukraine

Judicial Reform in Comparative Perspective: Assessing the Prospects for Ukraine

(p.162) 9 Judicial Reform in Comparative Perspective: Assessing the Prospects for Ukraine
Beyond the Euromaidan

Daniel J. Beers

Stanford University Press

Daniel Beers looks at the experience of judicial reform across the post-communist cases, and gleans several lessons. Among the most important is that “institutional solutions have important limitations as drivers of the reform process.” Not only do informal practices sometimes negate the effects of institutional reforms, but when they do, the entire concept of judicial reform is undermined by cynicism. Moreover, highly autonomous courts can be as hazardous as dependent ones, because they can become targets of politicians jealous of their authority. Beers finds two important sources of meaningful reform. First, the European Union has played a widely acknowledged role in judicial reform in the post-communist region. More surprisingly, Beers finds a strong positive role for low-level actors—individuals and firms who turn to the courts to resolve disputes and court employees committed to improvement.

Keywords:   Judicial reform, Informal practices, judicial independence, European Union, judges

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