Public Trust in Judicial Institutions in the Eastern Partnership Countries

One of the key priorities of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) is strengthening Rule of Law (RoL), good governance, and stability in the EaP countries. Traditionally the EU focuses primarily on building and strengthening laws, codes and procedures. However, judicial institutions and trust of the public in these institutions is equally important for the proper functioning and legitimacy of the justice system.

The perception of random abuse of power, unjust influence or lack of political neutrality undermine the principles and purpose of the rule of law. Public trust in a justice system is an essential component of its legitimacy. Not only must justice be done, it must also be seen to be done. Issues ranging from effectiveness to efficiency and professionalism in the justice systems of the EaP countries were addressed in the seminar.

The event included an open panel with keynote remarks from Mr. André Haspels, Deputy Director General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. The speakers provided their perspectives on the key efforts and challenges in public trust in judicial institutions and rule of law promotion in the region.


  • Dr. Abiodun Williams, Welcome
    President, The Hague Institute for Global Justice
  • Mr. André Haspels, Keynote Speech
    Deputy Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands

Panel 1: EU/Council of Europe Efforts and Visions

  • Ms. Sabine Zwaenepoel
    Senior Rule of Law Co-ordinator, DG Near, European Commission
  • Mr. Chris Kendall
    Team Leader Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Eastern Partnership, EEAS
  • Ms. Hanne Juncher
    Head Justice and Legal Cooperation, Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law, Council of Europe
  • Ambassador Nikola Dimitrov, Moderator
    Distinguished Fellow, The Hague Institute for Global Justice

Panel 2: Challenges and Ways Forward

  • Ms. Tina Gewis,
    Chief Rule of Law Unit ODIHR, OSCE
  • Ms. Chloe Lelievre
    OECD Policy Analyst, Public Governance
  • Mr. Dovydas Vitkauskas
    Senior Expert, Justice Coopération Internationale
  • Dr. Marina Kurkchiyan
    Director and Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford
  • Ambassador Nikola Dimitrov, Moderator
    Distinguished Fellow, The Hague Institute for Global Justice


Panel 1:

Panel 2:


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