A historical course shall be measured by different time periods. In modern society, the most appropriate way for the path of progressive development is а reform process. The renewal of Ukrainian society is not just the need of time. In the context of European integration for Ukraine, it has become necessary to establish an effective, fair and legitimate system of justice that would protect human and civil rights and freedoms. The rationale for the conceptual changes in Ukraine is, therefore, judicial reform.
The President of Ukraine has approved the strategy to reform the judicial system and adjacent legal institutions for 2015–2020 on May 4, 2015. This Strategy provides for reform in two stages: first, immediate updating of relevant legislation to restore confidence in the judiciary in Ukraine; and second, systemic changes, such as adopting constitutional amendments concerning the judicial system, judiciary, and other related legal institutions.
The framework for judicial reform was an amendment to the Constitution of Ukraine concerning the judicial system in June 2016, and also the adoption of laws of Ukraine «On the Judiciary and the Status of Judge» and «On High Council of Justice». These laws have not only amended the judicial system of Ukraine but have changed approaches for an appointment of judges. In addition, the final and transitional provisions of the law of Ukraine «On the Judiciary and the Status of Judge» had become «road map» of further changes in the judiciary during the 2017 period.
The fundamental importance of judicial reform was the President’s signature of the Decree No. 452/2017 «On the Elimination of Appeal Courts and the Formation of Appeal Courts in Appeal Constituencies». The aforementioned decree abolished the Kyiv Court of Appeal and the Court of Appeal of Kyiv Region and consequently, the Kyiv Court of Appeal was established in appellate districts, which includes Kyiv and Kyiv Region.
The starting point for the establishment of the Kyiv Court of Appeal is the day of registration of the Сourt as a legal entity. On June 21, 2018, the Kyiv Court of Appeal was registered as a legal entity in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, Individuals – Entrepreneurs and Public Associations.
On July 31, 2018, the Order of the State Judicial Administration of Ukraine No. 373 determined the number of judges of the Kyiv Court of Appeal – 145, and on September 13, 2018, the High Council of Justice, upon submission of the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine submitted for consideration by the President of Ukraine the issue of the transfer of judges of the Kyiv Court of Appeal and the Court of Appeal of Kyiv Region to the newly formed Kyiv Court of Appeal.
September 28, 2018 can rightly be considered a landmark date for the Kyiv Court of Appeal. That is the day that the President of Ukraine signed Decree No. 297/2018 on the transfer of judges of the Kyiv Court of Appeal and the Court of Appeal of Kyiv Region to the newly formed court.
The day of October 2, 2018 was marked by the first meeting of judges of the Kyiv Court of Appeal, where the priority organizational issues related to the beginning of the court’s activities were resolved. In particular, the Regulations on the meeting of judges of the Kyiv Court of Appeal were approved, the President of the court and his deputies were elected, the quantitative and personal composition of the judicial chambers were approved and the specialization of judges to hear specific categories of cases were determined.
In compliance with the requirements of Art. 20 of the Law of Ukraine «On the Judiciary and the Status of Judge» the leadership of the Kyiv Court of Appeal were elected by the judiciary by a secret ballot. Thus, Yaroslav Holovachov was elected the President of the Kyiv Court of Appeal and Viktor Hlynianyi and Ganna Kryzhanivska were elected Vice-Presidents of the Court.
Under article 147, paragraph 6 of the Law «On the Judiciary and the Status of Judge», on October 3, 2018, the Kyiv Court of Appeal began its activities with the official announcement on the launch of the newly formed court in «The Voice of Ukraine» – the official bulletin authorized to publish Ukrainian legislation.
The legal status of the Kyiv Court of Appeal is determined by the Law of Ukraine «On the Judiciary and the Status of Judge».