Domestic courts are largely to blame for most judgments against Ukraine in Strasbourg


This was the message from the Government’s Representative on European Court of Human Rights affairs, Yury Zaitsev during a seminar held in Kyiv as part of the programme on instilling a culture of human rights. The programme is being carried out by the Ukrainian Academy of Judges in cooperation with the Director General on Human Rights of the Council of Europe and the European Commission.

Yury Zaitsev stressed that it was specifically domestic courts which could and should prevent violations of human rights within the country and thus avoid applications to the European Court of Human Rights.

He pointed out that nearly one tenth of the overall number of cases against Ukraine where infringements had been found of the European Convention on Human Rights had been connected with the excessive duration of court proceedings.

He particularly stressed the need to eliminate problems which are taking on an increasingly systemic nature in Ukraine, involving inhumane and degrading treatment of people being held in custody. Mr Zaitsev said that this included in the first instance overcrowded cells, unsuitable sanitation and hygiene conditions, not being given adequate medical care and unacceptable treatment from the staff.

“Even though at first glance the resolution of such problems does not depend on the work of the courts, they can also provide effective defence of human rights – by reacting adequately to allegations of unacceptable treatment and by wider application of preventive measures which don’t involve remand in custody, with this making it possible to lighten the burden on remand centres”.

He stressed that the number of applications being lodged with the Court in Strasbourg has been increasing each year. Ukraine had over the last year been ordered to pay over 9,270 million UH in compensation for moral and material damages

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