A Foothold for Real Democracy in Eastern Europe: How Instituting Jury Trials in Ukraine Can Bring About Meaningful Governmental and Juridical Reforms and Can Help Spread These Reforms Across Eastern Europe
Ukraine has never had a criminal or civil jury trial despite the fact that the right to a criminal jury trial is guaranteed by Ukraine’s Constitution. The lack of jury trials is one of the factors likely contributing to the corruption and deficiencies inherent in Ukraine’s judicial system.
This Article argues that Ukraine can and should make room for juries in its judicial system and proposes a framework for both criminal and civil jury trials. Although the use of juries will not remedy all of the problems plaguing Ukraine, it could bring the country closer to achieving a truly democratic form of government. Specifically, the introduction of a jury trial framework in Ukraine will aid in the legitimization of the Ukrainian government and court system, harmonizing the presently tumultuous relationship between Ukrainian citizens and their government. Once Ukraine puts jury trials into practice, other former Soviet republics could learn and benefit from Ukraine’s example.