flag Ukrainian Judiciary
| Українська | English |

Contact center of the Ukrainian Judiciary 044 207-35-46

The representatives of the Supreme Court and the Council of Europe discussed further measures to protect the rights of war-affected persons

14 april 2023, 14:19

The need to strengthen access to justice, to ensure effective protection of the rights of war victims, and to properly communicate about such protection is particularly critical now, in the context of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine. These points were emphasized by the participants of the meeting of the Steering Committee of the Council of Europe project "Strengthening Judicial and Extrajudicial Remedies for War-Affected Persons in Ukraine".

Olena Lytvynenko, Interim Head of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine, informed that the Council of Europe had expanded cooperation with the executive, legislative and judicial authorities of Ukraine to protect the rights of displaced persons, in particular in the area of case law unity. Olena Lytvynenko assured that the Supreme Court would continue to be a reliable partner in the implementation of all CoE projects.

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe recognized the urgent need to create an international registry under the auspices of the Council of Europe to record all the damage caused by the Russian aggression against Ukraine. This was noted by Lilja Gretarsdottir, Head of Cooperation Programmes Division, Department for the Implementation of Human Rights, Justice and Legal Cooperation Standards, Directorate General for Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe, who also thanked the Ukrainian people for defending common European values in the fight against the aggressor state. According to her, the Council of Europe project "Strengthening Judicial and Extrajudicial Remedies for War-Affected Persons in Ukraine" will provide technical and expert assistance to improve national legislation, including on judicial remedies for war-affected persons.

According to Mykhailo Smokovych, President of the Administrative Cassation Court within the Supreme Court, the CoE project is designed to improve access to justice and protect the rights of war victims. The war is changing legal approaches, creating new case law and new categories of cases, many of which involve vulnerable and internally displaced persons. "Today, Ukraine is in dire need of assistance from the civilized world, of which the Council of Europe Office is a worthy representative. We understand that the assistance of our international partners is a matter of life and death for the Ukrainian people, the Ukrainian state and each of us. We are paying a very high price for the freedom of Ukraine and the whole world. But we know that all democratic countries are with us," the President of the SC Administrative Cassation Court emphasized.

The President of the Civil Cassation Court within the Supreme Court, Borys Hulko, expressed his gratitude to the CoE representatives for the implementation of this project, as the issue of providing effective legal protection to persons affected by the war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine is extremely important both for the judiciary and for Ukrainian society as a whole. In his opinion, the Civil Cassation Court within the Supreme Court has taken the first step towards ensuring effective access to judicial protection of citizens affected by the armed aggression of the Russian Federation - it has formulated a legal opinion on limiting the jurisdictional immunity of the aggressor state in claims for compensation for damage caused on the territory of Ukraine. Borys Hulko commented: "The approach chosen by the Council of Europe to involve Supreme Court judges, national representatives of the legislative and executive branches in this project will contribute to the synergy of introducing effective judicial and extrajudicial remedies for people affected by war. This will strengthen the rule of law and ensure everyone's right to a fair trial."

Hanna Khrystova, head of the Council of Europe project "Judicial and Extrajudicial Remedies for the Protection of the Rights of War-Affected Persons in Ukraine", presented the goals, objectives and work plan for 2023-2024, in particular the concept of developing effective remedies within the framework of an international mechanism for compensation of persons who have suffered not only property damage, but also damage to life and health.

Serhii Pohribnyi, Supreme Court judge of the Civil Cassation Court, noted that it was urgent to anticipate the problems of compensation for damage caused during the war, which will arise in 10, 20, 50 years. On this way it is necessary to combine efforts not only of the judiciary, but also of the legislature to propose an effective mechanism of enforcement of court decisions on compensation of damage caused by aggression of the Russian Federation.

The meeting was also attended by the Head of the Division of International and Legal Cooperation Lina Hubar.

The event was organized within the framework of the Council of Europe's Action Plan for Ukraine "Resilience, Recovery and Reconstruction" 2023-2026.