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16.06.2006 | Olga Goncharova, Kharkiv

Enforcement of European Court Judgements

   

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has issued Resolution No. 784 from 31 May 2006 “On measures for implementing the Law of Ukraine “On enforcing Judgements and applying case law of the European Court of Human Rights””, which, except for several clauses, takes effect from the day of publication.  The Ministry of Justice remains the body responsible for representing Ukraine in the European Court of Human Rights and for enforcing its rulings however instead of the Agent for compliance with the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Ukraine will be represented in the European Court of Human Rights by the Government Agent on matters relating to the European Court of Human Rights, who is appointed and dismissed by the Cabinet of Ministers on the submission of the Minister of Justice. In salary, material and other provisions, this post is equivalent to that of a deputy minister.

In order to define the status of Ukraine’s Agent in the European Court, the Government approved Regulations on Government Agent on matters relating to the European Court of Human Rights. According to this document, the Agent does not have to have been living for 10 years in Ukraine to be appointed to this post. It is sufficient to have Ukrainian citizenship, law education, experience of work in the legal sphere of at least three years and fluent knowledge of at least one official language of the Council of Europe.

The Government Agent on matters relating to the European Court of Human Rights is vested with the following duties:

1  to submit to state bodies requests for material and explanations in cases on violations of the Convention;

2  to determine measures to create the proper conditions for the investigation by the Court into cases on violations of the Convention

3  to coordinate work on preparing proposals regarding organizational-legal, procedural and other issues on representing Ukraine in the Court and enforcing its rulings in accordance with regulations of the Court;

4  To submit to the Ministry of Justice proposals on methods for carrying out expert analyses of draft laws and subordinate legislation, as well as legislative acts as to their conformity to the Convention and case law of the Court;

5  to take necessary measures to involve representatives of state bodies, with the consent of their managers, in presenting the Ukrainian Government’s case in the European Court of Human Rights, and in enforcing its rulings.

The Agent has the right:

1  To ask for and receive material and information from state authorities or bodies of local self-government;

2  .to create expert and working groups, to involve specialists, scientists and experts in resolving issues within their competence;

3  to approach state bodies and bodies of local self-government, enterprises, establishments and organizations in order to assist measures on presenting the Ukrainian Government’s case in the Court and on enforcing its rulings, as well as on creating the conditions for the investigation by the Court into cases on violations of the Convention and taking appropriate steps in accordance with Court regulations.

The Cabinet of Ministers also stipulated that all drafts of Resolutions of the Cabinet of Ministers pertaining to human rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Convention must take into account the provisions and case law of the European Court. A document needed to be enclosed with any draft confirming its compliance with the provisions of the Convention and case law of the European Court. Similar demands are also made regarding normative-legal acts submitted for state registration. The only difference is that in the latter case the conclusion of the Ministry of Justice (the Main directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the Crimean Autonomous Republic, regional, Kyiv and Sevastopol departments of justice) is enclosed instead of the above-mentioned document. If the case of a negative conclusion concerning a normative-legal act already registered, the latter’s state registration is cancelled.

I would remind the reader that in 2005 the European Court of Human Rights issued 120 Judgements on the merits of cases against Ukraine. In 119 cases the Court established violations by state organs of Ukraine of the rights guaranteed by the Convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The overwhelming majority of cases on which the Court ruled in 2005 concerned court review within a reasonable time (87 cases) non-enforcement or delayed enforcement of rulings of national courts (67 cases). The Court also found violations of provisions of the Convention connected with such questions as the right to life (1 case), prohibition of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment (4 cases), the right to liberty and security (5 cases), the right to a fair trial within a reasonable term (107 cases), the right to respect for private and family life (1 case), the right to freedom of expression (2 cases) and the right to an effective remedy (33 cases).

In contrast to previous years, in 2005 the Court took no decisions on Ukrainian claims concerning violation of religious freedom, the right to peaceful assembly and the right to an efficient investigation. Most often Ukrainian citizens complained about violations of their right to consideration of their cases by an independent and unbiased tribunal.

From the “Prava ludyny” Editorial Board: The Cabinet of Ministers has appointed Yury Zaitsev to the post of Government Agent on matters relating to the European Court of Human Rights (cf.  Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 792 of 7 June 2006).

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