Promoting understanding of judicial reforms in Ukraine through the media

In response to public distrust of the justice system, the Ukrainian government has been engaged in a major reform of the judiciary since 2015.



December 2017 - December 2020

Total budget


Democratic governance Social cohesion

Launched in late 2017 and funded by the European Union, the PRAVO-Justice project is part of a large-scale programme aimed at promoting justice sector reform in Ukraine. As part of this, CFI is implementing the media section of the project, which aims to improve public trust in the Ukrainian justice system and to increase public understanding of current reforms and of the judiciary, by training journalists on these issues.

2019 was marked by presidential and parliamentary elections, culminating in Volodymyr Zelensky taking presidential office. Within this context of intense media coverage, focussing in particular on achievements and election promises associated with the justice reform, 19 journalists with experience in covering judicial developments continued their specialisation with CFI.

They participated in two training cycles supplemented by activities run by professionals (magistrates, lawyers, civil servants) for whom interaction with the media is of fundamental importance. Between each face-to-face session, trainees received personalised support on reporting, investigative journalism or article-writing.

The modules were based on specific examples related to the practice of legal journalism in France, as well as on the experience of the trainers in international affairs. The cycles were designed and run by three French journalists who are members of the Association de la Presse Judiciaire [French Association of Court Journalists], supported by two Ukrainian journalists specialising in justice.

Discovering the intricacies of court reporting in France

Both the trainers and beneficiaries valued this specialisation cycle. The educational team wanted to present the way court reporting is carried out in France, which was something new for the Ukrainian court journalists. They enthusiastically welcomed this way of reporting as it highlights the way the justice system works and shows the dynamics of a society, from major cases down to local events.

Marina Ansiforova, who reports on court cases for Ukrainian television channel 24 and news website Bihus Info, admitted at the start of the training cycle that she “does not go to court”, but now hoped to follow trials in greater depth and with greater objectivity. According to Oleksiy Arunian, a journalist at Gratie, “the master class on court reporting was the most effective part. It was practical and hands-on and has provided us with useful knowledge.”  

A production support fund was set up to complement the theoretical part of the training course. By the end of 2019, 20 features (reports for television and radio, and online articles) had already been produced.

More projects carried out in 2019