On May 20, 2019, the results of the study “Statistical analysis of the consideration of civil and criminal cases with the participation of jurors” (2017-2018, 45 883 court decisions) were presented at the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center (UKMC).
The research was conducted with the support of the USAID New Justice Program by the Ukrainian Center for Social Data in partnership with the Center for Democracy and the Rule of Law under the project “Changes in the Judicial System of Ukraine: Statistical Analysis of Court Decisions.”
The Unified State Register of Court Decisions is a vast array of information that can be converted into data and analyzed statistically. And that analysis can show if there are any changes in the judiciary.
The purpose of the study was to statistically evaluate the results of the jury activities in Ukraine – one of the forms of direct participation of citizens in the administration of justice.
One of the features of cases that can be heard by a jury is the large number of documents that are prohibited from being made public. Therefore, the analysis of these documents was impossible.
The participation of jurors in the criminal proceedings is provided only in the presence of the defendant’s request and only in cases for which life imprisonment is provided. In civil proceedings, the participation of jurors is mandatory in following cases:
- Restriction of civil capacity of an individual, recognition of an individual incapable and restoration of civil capacity of an individual (Art. 295-300 CPC)
- Recognition of an individual as missing or declaring him / her dead (Art. 305-309 CPC)
- Adoption (Art. 310-314 CPC)
- Compulsory psychiatric care (Art. 339-342 CPC)
- Compulsory hospitalization in an anti-tuberculosis institution (Art. 343-346 CPC)
In the vast majority of criminal cases, where there could potentially be a jury trial, the trial was conducted by a panel of judges without the participation of a jury. Only one in seven defendants was tried by a jury, which indicates, among other things, that defendants rarely use their right to a jury trial.
In total, only 20 925 documents were found in civil cases, of which 6 829 were prohibited from publication, so they could not be analyzed. A total of 12 728 cases were identified, and in 3 276 cases all documents were banned from publication, which accounted for 33% of all documents in certain categories of civil cases. The largest share of documents prohibited for publication – 69% – is in the “Adoption”category (Art. 310-314 CPC). The least prohibited documents for publication are in the “Recognition of a person as missing” category (Art. 305-309 CPC).