The Legal Sector Project, established in 2001 following the implementation of the Constitutional Court Project, is an effort to support Ukraine's legal sector, including professionals, educational institutions, and the judiciary. The many rapid and far-reaching changes in Ukraine's legal system have put increasing pressure on legal professionals and legal educational institutions to adapt to these changes.
The Foundation assists the development of Ukraine's legal sector by providing informational resources, holding seminars at Ukrainian law schools, offering travel grants for Ukrainians to attend international legal conferences, and facilitating communications between American and Ukrainian legal professionals.
January 19, 2011 – High court zigzagging by Judge Bohdan Futey, Kyiv Post
October 28, 2010 - U.S. Ambassador John F. Tefft Highlights Successes, Challenges on Judicial Reform at USAID Roundtable. Participating in the roundtable was Judge Bohdan Futey, U.S. Federal Court of Claims, who is a member of USUF’s Board of Advisors.
October 14, 2010 – Comments on The Law On The Judiciary And The Status Of Judges Of Ukraine,
by Bohdan A. Futey, Judge, U.S. Court of Federal Claims
October 12, 2010 - Суддя Богдан Футей: Зауваження до рішення Конституційного Суду України від 1 жовтня 2010 року, (справа про додержання процедури внесення змін до Конституції України)
October 6, 2010 - Суддя Футей: Українська влада не дотримується духу Конституції
Dr. Andreitsev (Dean of Kyiv University Law School),
Dr. Gordon Hylton (Legal Sector Project visiting lecturer),
& Markian Bilynskyj of USUF
At the request of Ukrainian law students, the Project sent hundreds of donated American law books to Ukrainian law schools. The Project will also be sponsoring Ukrainians to attend law related conferences in the U.S. The project will soon be launching a bimonthly newsletter on developments in Ukraine's legal sector.
In 2002, members of the Project's Advisory Board volunteered to travel to Ukraine and participated in seminars for attorneys and law students.
Mr. Edward Brown IV, Esquire, of Brown & Brown, P.C. of St. Louis, Missouri spoke at the Taras Shevchenko Kyiv University Law School in March 2002. He spoke to approximately one hundred third and fourth year undergraduate law students on the process of trying a criminal case in front of a jury in the U.S., focusing on the practical aspects of jury selection, trial preparation, cross-examination of a hostile witness, arguing a case in front of the jury, sentencing, and appeals.
Since the judicial process of trial by jury is still being introduced in Ukraine, students and faculty were very interested in hearing an attorney with everyday, firsthand experience with a jury. The students' keen interest was evident in the wide range of questions posed after his presentation. There were several questions regarding the death penalty, the social class and ethnicity of Mr. Brown's clients, and how poor clients receive defense.
The dean of the law school, Dr. Andreitsev was thrilled with the lecture and the enthusiasm of his students to learn more. At his request, Mr. Brown promised to send further information on jury trials to the university and to try to establish some contacts between the St. Louis University Law School and the Kyiv University Law School. In future trips to to Ukraine, he plans to volunteer once again for USUF's Legal Sector Project.
Dr. Gordon Hylton, Professor of Law at Marquette University Law School, spoke in Ukraine at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in March 2002. Dr Hylton is not a stranger to Ukraine. He was a participant in the Constitutional Court Project in 1998-1999.
Dr. Hylton's presentation was on The Judiciary Provisions of the Ukrainian Constitution in a Comparative Context. He focused on two issues, judicial review and constitutional provisions prohibiting professional judges from participating in political service, by comparing Ukraine's constitution with those of other nations, such as the U.S., Austria, Japan, Argentina, and many others.
Surprised students asked many questions about the lack of a provision on the neutrality of judges in the U.S. Constitution. Dr. Hylton explained, "Even though there are no written requirements for judges to be neutral, there is a strong institutional and cultural pressure for judges to act so." Some students questioned Hylton whether it was fair to require neutrality of Ukrainian judges in politics. Always encouraging the law students to consider their future role as actors in the legal sector in Ukraine, Dr. Hylton replied, "This is the question for Ukrainians, and not the question for Americans."
Invitation to Participate
The assistance and expertise of professionals like Mr. Brown and Dr. Hylton have proven very valuable in supporting Ukraine's legal professionals and institutions. USUF invites other like-minded legal professionals & organizations interested in assisting Ukraine's legal sector to join the Project's Advisory Board. Communication is being done primarily by email in developing ideas and activities that best support Ukraine's legal professionals and institutions.