According to Article 126 of the Law of Ukraine “ On Judiciary and Status of Judges", to protect professional interests of judges and to resolve issues of internal activity of the courts in Ukraine, there is a judicial autonomy functioning as an independent collective solution of these issues by judges.
Judicial autonomy is one of the guarantees of judges independence. The activities of judicial autonomy bodies should facilitate the establishment of appropriate organizational and other conditions to ensure a proper functioning of courts and judges, to confirm the independence of the court, to protect judges from interference to their activities and increasing the level of human resources in the court system.
Issues related to the internal activities of the courts include issues related to the organizational support of the courts and activities of judges, social protection of judges and their families, as well as other issues directly unrelated to the justice executing.
The tasks of judicial autonomy are to resolve issues concerning:
• ensuring the organizational unity of the judiciary functioning;
• strengthening the independence of the courts, judges, protection of the professional interests of judges, including protection against interference in their activities;
• participation in determining the needs of staffing, financial and other courts supplying, control over compliance with the established standards of such supply;
• election of judges to administrative positions in courts in accordance with the procedure established by the law;
• appointment of judges to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine;
• election of judges to the High Council of Justice and High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine in accordance with the procedure established by law.
Judicial autonomy in Ukraine is realized through:
• judges’ meetings of a local court, court of appeal, superior specialized court and Plenary Session of the Supreme Court;
• Council of Judges of Ukraine;
• judiciary convention of Ukraine
Judges’ meetings are convened by the chief judge of the court on his own initiative or at the request of at least one third of the total number of judges.
Judges’ meetings are convened when necessary, but at least once every three months.
According to the Article 128 of the Law of Ukraine “On Judiciary and Status of Judges” judges’ meetings:
• discuss issues related to the internal activities of the court or work of specific judges or employees of the court administration and make decisions that are necessary to the judges and court staff;
• determine the level of workload of judges subject to their administrative and other responsibilities;
• hear reports of judges holding administrative positions and the chief of staff of the court;
• apply for disciplinary action against a lawyer, a prosecutor, an official of a public authority or a local self-government body for committing acts or omissions which violate the guarantees of independence of the court and the judge;
• exercise other powers specified by law.
Judges’ meetings may discuss issues on the practice of law enforcement and develop appropriate proposals to improve such practices and legislation. Judges’ meetings may submit such proposals for consideration to the Supreme Court.
An execution of the judges’ meetings decisions relies on the chief judge of the court or his deputy.