Law Enforcement Reform in Ukraine: Past, Present, and Future


Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 2:30pm to 4:00pm



Eugene Krapyvin, lawyer; expert at the Centre of Policy and Legal Reform
Matthew Light, Associate Professor of Criminology and European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, University of Toronto
Nicholas PehlmanAdjunct Associate Professor, Lehman College; Adjunct Associate Professor, New York University School of Professional Studies (SPS)
Moderator: Emily Channell-Justice, Director, Temerty Contemporary Ukraine Program, Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University

Live on YouTube:

Stock photo of police in Ukraine


This panel will discuss Ukraine's ongoing law enforcement reforms with a focus on the role of Ukrainian Civil Society, international partnerships, and oversight mechanisms.  The panel will discuss the course of law enforcement reforms taken since the Euromaidan (2014) during the Petro Poroshenko Presidency Administration (2014-2019) as well as during the current administration of current President Vladimir Zelensky (2019-Present).  The panel will also discuss the progress and challenges of reforms in Ukraine's law enforcement institutions and consider what lessons may be applicable in other contexts, including the USA.

Read an advance article on police reform by speaker Nicholas Pehlman, PhD, which is forthcoming in Harvard Ukrainian Studies, vol. 37, no. 3–4 (2020): Patrimonialism through Reform: Public Participation in Police Reform, Institutional Capture, and Bureaucratic Independence in Ukraine.


Eugene Krapyvin is a lawyer and an expert on criminal justice. He has worked as an analyst in think thanks and consulted Members of Parliament in Ukraine. He is the author and co-author of several research publications pertaining to criminal justice, and he is the content editor of the platform "Justtalk."

Matthew Light is associate professor of Criminology and European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Toronto.  Light received his doctorate in political science from Yale University in 2006.  His book, Fragile Migration Rights:  Freedom of Movement in Post-Soviet Russia (Routledge, 2016) concerned the enforcement of migration policy in Russia.  His current research interests include policing and public and citizen security in the post-Soviet region.  With Anne-Marie Singh (Ryerson University, Toronto) and Aaron Erlich (McGill University, Montreal) he is conducting research on the evolution of security institutions and practices in Ukraine since 2014, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Nick Pehlman is a Adjunct Associate Professor at Lehman College, City University in the Bronx, NY and also at NYU College of Professional Studies in New York City.  He was an NSEP Boren Fellow in Ukraine in 2016 where he conducted his dissertation research on Ukraine's police reform and worked directly on reform projects in Ukraine for the US Department of Justice International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Project.  He received his Ph.D. from the City University of New York Graduate Center in 2019 and his research interests include criminal justice, police and security sector reform and regime stability.  He lives in New York City and has worked on and consulted for various criminal justice reform projects.

Watch and ask questions on YouTube

Join live on YouTube and post your comments or questions using the chat feature.