The trials of Yulia Tymoshenko and other Ukrainian politicians from 2010 onwards attracted international attention concerning the malfunctioning of Ukraine’s system of justice. The use of the judiciary, prosecutions and law enforcement by state authorities as oppression tools during the so-called Euromaidan protests in the winter of 2013–2014 demonstrated to the world – and to the Ukrainian population itself – that shortcomings in the application of the rule of law in Ukraine are indeed systemic. 

Ukraine’s rule of law compliance remains poor however the evaluation scale is drawn and whatever resources external donors commit to foster the rule of law in the country. Burlyuk reveals that there is a low demand for the rule of law among Ukrainian political and business elites, legal professionals and wider population and expose obstacles to meaningful legal change at the level of power structures, professional and popular social norms. This has implications for future research and policy. 

A change for the better is possible, but it is not automatic or inevitable. Nonetheless, the profound enthusiasm among the (new) elites and the population, the determination of the civil society to control every step of the new President, Parliament and Government and the regenerated attention of the international community to Ukraine and its domestic transformations provide a favourable environment for a real qualitative change. It is up to domestic and external rule of law reformers, scholars and practitioners alike, to seize this opportunity. 


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