FOR THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
You have before you the first issue of “Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights. Judgments.
Commentaries.” — a publication that is fundamentally new for this country. The novelty and value of this
publication is determined both by the topics it covers and the uniqueness and topicality of the presented
The ratification of the European Convention on Human Rights has established a new legal situation in the
human rights advocacy system in Ukraine.
Now, everyone within the jurisdiction of Ukraine not only has the right but the actual possibility of
applying to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg after all domestic remedies have been exhausted.
In this way, paragraph 4 of Article 55 of the Ukrainian Constitution has been put into practice.
This legal situation has generated new requirements for law enforcement practice in Ukraine. Every judge,
defense lawyer or law enforcement officer should keep in mind, when making decisions in cases, that any person
may apply to the European Court if these decisions do not restore the violated rights of this person.
Therefore, lawyers are faced with the requirement to abide by the provisions of the European Convention on
Human Rights, on the one hand, and on the other, to base their decisions on the Court's practice in
adjudicating cases where these rights have been violated.
However, since all materials of the European Court are produced and published in English and French — the
official languages of the Council of Europe — this creates a serious barrier for the effective work of
Ukrainian lawyers on the above-mentioned basis.
Therefore, there is a pressing need to translate the Court's cases into Ukrainian and distribute them among
the general public and those officials who are obligated to apply European judicial practice. Unfortunately,
Ukrainian authorities have not been able to do anything in this important area so far. The public, however,
has proved to be far more effective.
Translations by the Lviv Human Rights Laboratory at the Ukrainian Academy of Legal Sciences (Director —
Prof. P. Rabinovych) became the first step in this direction. They were published as summaries of a number of
cases determined by the European Court of Human Rights. This, however, was not sufficient. Current legal
practice in Ukraine must be familiarized with complete texts of cases which, if made available, will enable
the study of all substantive and procedural aspects of the adjudication process and judgments delivered in
each such case.
|During the work of the round-table
S. Holovatyi (Head of the Editorial Board),
H. Freeland (Member of the Editorial Board).
This is why at the end of 1998, the Ukrainian Legal Foundation initiated its new project: translating
and publishing complete texts of judgments and other documents of the European Court of Human Rights.
The implementation of the project was initiated by founding a new publication — “Case Law of the
European Court of Human Rights. Judgments. Commentaries.” — and also conducting a round-table
on the topic: “Applying European Human Rights Standards in Ukraine’s Domestic Order (The European
Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights’ Practice)”.
The round-table was held on November 12, 1998, at the Kyiv Regional Center of the Ukrainian Academy of
Legal Sciences. Participants included Chairman of the Supreme Court of Ukraine V. Boiko, Deputy Chairman
of the Supreme Court of Ukraine and Chairman of the Supreme Court Criminal Division V. Maliarenko, Deputy
Chairman of the Supreme Court of Ukraine and Chairman of the Supreme Court Civil Division P. Shevchuk,
Authorized Human Rights Representative of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine N. Karpachova, Deputy Head of the
Security Service of Ukraine V. Prystaiko, Vice President of the Academy of Legal Sciences Y. Hroshevoi, other
prominent scholars, judges, lawyers, officials from ministries, agencies and law enforcement bodies, and the
directors of those Ukrainian Legal Foundation programs that are taking part in implementing the project.
The round-table covered a number of issues relating to the new legal situation in Ukraine following the
ratification of the European Convention on Human Rights, access to information pertaining to the European
Court’s practice, educational needs and problems in this area.
The consideration of the concept and main objectives of the new publication became the key moment in the
discussion. Round-table participants emphasized the necessity of publishing it as quickly as possible due to
the urgent need for the material which will be published in it. It was emphasized that the Ukrainian Legal
Foundation can implement this project due to its experience as well as organizational and technological
|During the work of the round-table
V. Boiko (Chairman of the Supreme Court of Ukraine),
Y. Zaitsev (Editor-in-Chief of the new publication).
Four ULF programs were engaged in order to secure comprehensive implementation of efforts and measures
planned within the framework of the project:
· The Center for Legal Terminology, Translations and Dictionaries
— whose staff participated in the linguistic expertise and preparation of official translations of the
Ukrainian Constitution, Draft Civil Code and Draft Criminal Code as well as a number of other bills, and in
the design and publication of the Official Gazette of Ukraine — is now involved in the translation of
materials and their terminological and linguistic expertise, development and design of the publication’s
· The Ukrainian Center for Human Rights — which has gathered under
its roof highly-qualified human rights law scholars, is organizing a nationwide human rights network and has
extensive experience in this area — is providing academic expertise and consultancy for the publication.
· The Information and Documentation Center of the Council of Europe in
Ukraine is ensuring informational support for the publication.
· The Ukrainian Center for Legal Studies will be involved in
educational efforts regarding the European Court of Human Rights’ practice both within the framework of
curricula for its students and various courses and seminars for judges, defense lawyers, law enforcement
The publication is specifically aimed, primarily, at illuminating the practice of the new European Court of
Human Rights, which began its work as the only such European human rights protection institution of its kind,
on November 1, 1998.
The publication will include the most typical cases which make up the precedent basis for further judgments
of the Court, information on its current activities, and statistics. Rules of procedure of the former
Court, which operated together with the Commission, and the new European Court of Human Rights are included in
this publication in the section containing translations of respective Rules of Court.
Judgments are supplemented by comments and academic essays so that Ukrainian lawyers can have convenient
access to what is for them, new legal material from substantial, procedural, and finally, philosophical
It is worthwhile to accentuate the fact that translating documents of this complexity and scope entails
many difficulties both regarding the maximum adequate reproduction of meaningful nuances (especially the
national categories characteristic of various legal systems of the Council of Europe Member States) and the
formation and unification of terminological and linguistic apparatus.
In connection with this, the Editorial Board requests that everybody, who is able to send us comments and
proposals, join in the implementation of this project, and thus, help improve this new Ukrainian legal
We hope that with joint efforts, the journal “Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights. Judgments.
Commentaries.” will become one more brick in building the foundation of a law-based state in Ukraine.
|Head, Editorial Board,
National Deputy of Ukraine,
Ukrainian Legal Foundation