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You're reading: Role of jury in Ukraine

Constitution of Ukraine

The Constitution’s jury guarantee contains elements of both the continental jury system, as well as the common law jury system. This may be the result of compromise between various factions needed to ratify the Constitution, or the ambiguity may demonstrate an uncertainty as to the ultimate role of the jury in Ukraine’s legal system. For example, Article 124 states that the people will participate in the administration of justice as people’s assessors and as jurors, but does not define those terms. Similarly, Article 127 states that “justice is administered by professional judges and, in cases determined by law, people’s assessors and jurors.”

Neither article defines the terms “people’s assessors” or “jurors,” and it is unclear whether they are intended to mean different things or to be interchangeable. The Constitution does distinguish jurors from judges, so the drafters may have envisioned jurors similar to those in the United States, who find facts and ultimately determine liability but make no other legal conclusions. On the other hand, by qualifying judges as “professional judges,” the drafters may be implying that the jurors act as lay judges, as found in European systems.

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