ARCHIVES Danyliw Seminar 2017
James Madison University
Dr. Daniel Beers is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Justice Studies at James Madison University. He served for three years as a research associate with the Parliamentary Development Project for Ukraine at Indiana University, where he authored numerous technical papers and reports for members of the Verkhovna Rada. He is the recipient of several research and teaching awards, including a Fulbright-Hays doctoral dissertation research fellowship.
Judicial Reform after the Euromaidan:
The More Things Change…
Post-Maidan Ukraine witnessed a historic opportunity to reform its troubled legal system. The ouster of Victor Yanukovich created a unique political opening for new political actors to address corruption and political interference in the judicial sector. However, this opportunity was soon met with the disappointing reality of a court system that may well be more vulnerable to politicization and corruption than at any time in Ukraine’s post-Soviet history. Numerous dismissals of high level judicial officials, justified as a necessary step toward removing corrupt political cronies, amounted to a purge of Yanukovych appointees—for the apparent purpose of appointing officials loyal to the post-Madian government. This paper explores what the Ukrainian case can teach us about judicial reform in comparative perspective. It examines the political and institutional complexity of the judicial reform process and the inherent risks associated with radical reforms in the judicial sector.