Posted by Dirk Farrar on Nov 13, 2017
Rotary Club of Olympia
The Wheel
 
Date: 11/13/2017
 
Program: Reiko Callner - Fighting Corruption in Ukraine
 
Meeting called to order by:  President Christy Peters at 12:28
  • Invocation - Fred Adair
  • Pledge of Allegiance - Bill Fishburn
  • Song - Star Spangled Banner by Allen Miller
  • 4 Way Test - Gerald Pumphrey
Visiting Rotarians: 
None
 
Guests of Rotarians: 
  • Heather Antanaitis – guest of Rosemary Barnhart
  • Rita Sharangpani – guest of Joe Scuderi
Happy Bucks:  
 
Hosted by Dan Lehuta
  • Oscar Soule - Had been traveling for a few weeks to Spain and Portugal
  • Bob Wubbena - Talked about the Foundation
  • Jewell Goddard - Had been previously diagnosed with blood cancer, but was very happy to find out they he did NOT!!!!
  • Bob Heck - Had a birthday and was happy about passing the CFP test
  • Victoria Byerly - Announced her old dog had passed, but she now has a new one
  • Trent Hart - Asked for volunteers for the Salvation Army bell ringing on Dec 16th
  • Ralph Munro - Found men’s glasses in the men’s restroom (imagine that !!)
  • Nick Schmidt - Had a great weekend traveling to CA (other than the Huskies losing to Stanford)
Announcements:
  • Kyle Cronk announced pub night on 11-16 at Tug Boat Annies from 4:30-6:00
  • Renatta Wilson will host a new member social at her house on 11-14 from 5:30-7:00
  • Lori and Corrina talked about Cool Jazz/Clean Water event coming up on 11-18.  Lots of auction items and wine available for purchase at the event.

Health Moment

President Christy Peters (on behalf of Gloria Strait) wanted to know how many people had gotten their flu shots, and reminded everyone else not to delay.

Lakefair Run 2018

Heidi Schaiberger and Nick Schmidt asked Steve Bean to auction off the 26th mile post marker for the 2018 Lakefair Run.  After some spirited and humorous bidding between Oscar Soule and Bob Wubbena, Bob was the winner at $226.

Program: Reiko Callner - Fighting Corruption in Ukraine

Reiko Callner, Executive Director of the Washington State Commission for Judicial Conduct, was our speaker.  She has recently participated on a conference in Ukraine on how to reduce corruption in the judiciary. Reiko discussed Ukraine’s history and how much of it was left in ruins following World War II. 
 
In 1986, the worst manmade nuclear disaster occurred in The Ukraine at Chernobyl, epitomizing the cost of vast incompetence which was the hallmark of the government.  This was a strong impetus behind the attempted coup in Moscow in 1991 and subsequent successful referendum for independence and eventual demise of the Soviet Union in 1991.
 
Since that time, Ukraine has continued to struggle, mired in massive corruption at virtually every level of society.  Struggles continued over leadership, some factions backed by Russia, virtually all of them tarnished by infighting and corruption.
 
In 2013, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Kiev and other cities to protest the government’s abandonment of plans, under Russian-backed president Yanukovich, to abandon plans to sign an association agreement with the EU.  They accused the government of bowing to Russian presume and being corrupt and unaccountable.  In February 2014, government security forces killed at least 77 protesters in Kiev. 
 
Yanukovich fled to Russia, and the opposition took control.  In March of 2014, Russian forces annexed Crimea, and in April, pro-Russian troops seized portions of Ukraine on the border with Russia.  The war goes on in the east today, though there is a tenuous ceasefire, at least in theory.  In May of 2014, Petro Poroshenko won election on a pro-western platform, and finally signed the EU association accord in July. 
 
Since 2016, the country’s economy has returned to fragile health. 
 
Ukraine's judicial system was inherited from that of the Soviet Union and the former Ukrainian SSR. As such, it had many of the problems which marred Soviet justice, most notably a corrupt and politicized judiciary.  Lawyers have stated trial results can be unfairly fixed, with judges commonly refusing to hear exculpatory evidence, while calling frequent recesses to confer privately with the prosecutor. Insiders say paying and receiving bribes is a common practice in most Ukrainian courts.  Fee amounts depend on jurisdiction, the crime, real or trumped-up, and the financial wherewithal of the individual or company involved.
 
The consequences of such corruption are:
  • Deterioration of democracy and rule of law
  • Deterioration of social services
  • Limitation of economic development
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) FAIR Justice Project (FAIR) has been working in Ukraine since October 2011 to promote judicial reform. The goal of FAIR is to strengthen the rule of law through enhancing judicial independence, improving transparency and accountability of the judiciary, raising awareness of the public about the judiciary to increase public trust and confidence.
 
Objectives of the program are to
  • Assist in harmonizing the national legislative and regulatory framework for the judicial reform with European and international standards of judicial accountability and independence; strengthen the accountability and transparency of key judicial institutions
  • Enhance the professionalism and effectiveness of the judiciary
  • Increase the role of civil society organizations as advocates for and monitors of the judiciary.
 
To maintain the integrity and independence of the judiciary, a Code of Judicial Conduct is essential.  A Code is an articulation of values underlying an ideal justice system, which is transparent, and enforceable.  A Code is essential, but not sufficient.  The public must also understand what the Code is, and how it reflects the values of justice.  They also need to know how to access the mechanism to enforcement. 

 

Mr. Snappy Winner:

Bill Latta won Mr. Snappy - a $45 credit from Marv Reiner at his Christmas tree farm

Meeting adjourned by President Christy Peters at 1:30