About the project

“Trial in simple words” project is a field of activity of Human Rights Vector NGO established to protect the right to a fair trial and raise public awareness in this field. The initiative brings together activists, IT experts, and professional lawyers.

Basic types of commentaries:

  1. Simultaneous — the expert comments on a hearing live explaining what is happening in simple words. For example, the expert can tell indicate the stage of the proceedings, the essence and possible consequences of procedural actions of judges and litigants.
  2. Overview — a succinct wrap-up video commentary on the trial results prepared by an expert after detailed analysis.
  3. Specialized overview — video commentary on the results of hearing/ hearings on specific issues

Principles of commenting:

  • Independence and objectivity. A trial commentator draws attention to violations and positive aspects in the work and behavior of all participants and judges. The commentator should avoid conflict of interest (conflict between personal interests and professional responsibilities that can affect the commenting). The commentator may not be party to the trial. The commentator shall not follow instructions from other persons in the commenting process. The commentator may refuse to comment on the trial in the region where s/he works or lives.
  • Neutrality. Commenting should not support the defense or the prosecution.
  • Non-partisanism. When commenting on the trial, a commentator should not use branding items indicating affiliation with any political force. S/he also shall refrain from any political assessment of parties to the trial taking into account only to the letter and spirit of the Law.
  • Non-discrimination. Commentators shall refrain from any discriminatory statements or demonstration of personal preferences towards individuals or groups of people.

Rules of commenting:

  • Professionalism.
  • Non-interference with the process.
  • Commenting can be initiated by the commentator (s/he can ask other commentators if there is a conflict of interest) and the Council of “Trial in simple words” project upon citizens’ inquiry.
  • Pro bono commenting.
  • Before commenting, the commentator notifies the coordinator of the “Trial in simple words” project to solve organizational and technical issues.
  • The commentator cannot access the direct tab on “Trial in simple words” Youtube channel.
  • The commentator shall not use offensive language while commenting.
  • The commentator shall not broadcast advertising messages.

Rules of communication with the court:

1. Trial commentators are not part of the court. They do not perform duties of the Press Service of the Judiciary of Ukraine.

2. A trial commentator/initiative has the right to inform the court about live commenting in the spirit of cooperation.

3. Commentators shall refrain from judging personalities of the judges and court employees. However, commentators can provide a reasonable assessment of judicial decisions.

4. Experts shall only comment on matters relevant to the trial – i.e. what is in the video and/or what has significance for the trial.