Legal specialists at Queen Mary University of London will lead on the establishment of Ukraine’s High Court on Intellectual Property (IP), which forms part of a radical transformation of the country’s legal system.
The two-year, £850,000 project will be led by Professor Ioannis Kokkoris and Dr Noam Shemtov, both from Queen Mary’s Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS).
The experts will review the legislative framework for the new court, advise on best international practices and launch an international training programme for newly appointed Ukrainian judges.
The project is funded by the Joint Department for International Development (DFID) and Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) Good Governance Fund.
IP courts are becoming a global trend. They allow judges to gather expertise and speed up court proceedings for IP-related disputes, which are often technical and complex.
Speaking about the project, Professor Kokkoris said: “By assisting governments with their judicial reform programmes, the UK is reinforcing and projecting its role as a leading global centre for the provision of legal services. I am delighted that the UK Government recognises the importance of supporting the international judicial community and is prepared to invest in strengthening the rule of law overseas.
Dr Shemtov added: “Ukraine is internationally-renowned for its excellent outsourcing services, large pool of highly skilled programmers and growing start-up industry. A reliable IP protection system is crucial for the development of its innovative sectors, investment attractiveness and economic growth.
“This is one of the largest consulting projects CCLS has been awarded to date, and we expect this to pave the way for similar international engagements.”
The project officially launched at a reception at CCLS yesterday. Guest speakers included Ms. Valentyna Danishevska, President of Ukraine’s Supreme Court, Mr Igor Benedysiuk, Chairman of the High Council of Justice of Ukraine, the Rt Hon. Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, former President of the UK’s Supreme Court (who will be chairing the project’s International Advisory Board), and Mr Richard Dewdney, Head of the DFID/FCO Good Governance Fund.
Mr Dewdney said: “The UK government is proud to back Ukraine’s new IP court through the Good Governance Fund, and with expert advice under Queen Mary University of London’s Centre for Commercial Law Studies. The successful establishment of a specialised intellectual property court will strengthen Ukraine’s business environment and set an example for Ukraine’s wider programme of judicial reform.”
Since the 2014 revolution, Ukraine has launched and enacted more reforms than during the preceding twenty-five years. In 2015, the Ukrainian Government announced a large-scale transformation of the country’s judicial system and administration of justice. This included the reform of Ukraine’s Supreme Court, as well as the creation of specialised courts such as the High Court on Intellectual Property and the High Anti-Corruption Court.
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