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13.04.2004 | Aleksey Svetikov, Severodonetsk

Paradoxes of the Lugansk justice

   

On 5 February the Severodonetsk town court issued the decision on the request of the town mayor about the prohibition of the public meeting: the request was rejected. Yet, unfortunately, the constitutional right for peaceful assemblies was not supported by court.

The action (the meeting concerning the conduction of local referendum about the pre-term cancellation of the authorities of the mayor) had to be held on 21 August 2003. Two days before the event, on 19 August, the mayor handed the request about the prohibition of the meeting. Judge N. Andreev satisfied the request and forbade the conduction of the action. The law-abiding citizens did not held the meeting, and appealed against the decision. In December 2003 the decision of the Severodonetsk town court was reversed by the Lugansk appeal court (the initiators of the meeting were not invited to the trial). As a result, the request of the town mayor about the prohibition of the meeting, which had to be conducted several months ago, was returned to Severodonetsk for reconsideration in the court of the first instance. The officials ignored the arguments of representative of the initiators N. Metelkina, a lawyer-consultant of the Lugansk branch of the VCU, who insisted that the new consideration in the local court was senseless.

The behavior of claimant’s representative V. Rud, the head of the juridical department of the Severodonetsk executive committee, was more pragmatic. He did not come to any of the court sittings. So, according to the Civil-Procedural Code, the request of the mayor was not considered, and, as a result of this court trick, a strange and rather dangerous precedent appeared: the conduction of the meeting had been prohibited, but there existed no juridical act about this prohibition. This is a very convenient method of preventing the «undesirable» political actions, especially in the year of Presidential election.

The Lugansk branch of the VCU, in its part, tried to create the «anti-precedent» and handed, through a people’s deputy of Ukraine, the appeal about bringing of judge N. Andreev to disciplinary responsibility. The members of the committee believe that the violations of law, committed by the judge, were premeditated and had serious consequences, such as irreversible violation of citizens’ rights.

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