EUROPEAN COURT: Ukraine, bad pupil for number of unexecuted ECHR decisions
Ukraine became second worst country in the region for number of unexecuted ECHR decisions
Institute of Mass Information (12.11.2021) – https://bit.ly/3kBaKVz – Ukraine is the second worst country in the region, after the Russian Federation, in terms of the total number of judgments issued by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) pending implementation.
Such was a message the experts voiced at the conference on the implementation of ECHR decisions in Ukraine, which took place in Kiev, as ZMINA human rights center reported.
According to experts, the situation in this area needs to be significantly improved. There is a real problem, since the implementation of relevant regulations fails in Ukraine, and the measures necessary to stop repeated human rights violations have not been taken, as human rights activists said.
This is also confirmed by the analysis of some specific cases, which evidenced that human rights continued to be blatantly infringed in Ukraine, many years after adoption of the relevant ECHR resolutions.
Regarding the reasons of such systematic non-implementation, the experts of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union (UHHRU) and the Kharkiv Human Rights Group (KHPG) pointed at:
-Most cases considered by ECHR revealed long-term systemic human rights problems that require decisive action by the authorities. Instead, the government’s approach is often overly ponderous and formal.
-Many of these systemic issues are related to the judiciary, in particular the right of the citizen to a fair trial and the right to an effective remedy. Their violation forces the victims to turn to the European Court of Human Rights for justice, thus overburdening the Strasbourg court.
“When tough reforms are needed, the authorities set up a commission or even several, which then disagree on the optimal path,” commented on Hennady Tokarev, a lawyer with the Center for Strategic Defense of the KHRG.
Also among the obstacles to the implementation of the decisions of the European Court, human rights activists mentioned:
-limited cooperation between the authorities responsible for taking the measures necessary to meet the requirements set out in the ECHR rulings and other participants in the process;
-lack of knowledge on the protection of human rights within the ECHR system of civil servants, officials and judges, especially at the local level.
To improve it, in particular due to the lack of resources in Ukraine to implement reforms, human rights activists offered to require some more support from the Council of Europe and the EU, which could share the costs of developing an appropriate human rights framework at the institutional level in Ukraine.
At the same time, some obstacles can be overcome through the introduction of an inclusive procedure at the national level, which would allow all parties to the process to present their ideas and be heard, experts said.
They called the introduction of parliamentary oversight of the implementation of ECHR rulings an important achievement, although they stressed that it was too early to assess the effectiveness of this step.
Human rights defenders also found indispensible to improve national legal capacity so that applicants, their lawyers and local NGOs could use all the opportunities provided by the Council of Europe’s human rights mechanism.
Photo credits: Ukrinform