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Стаття з журналу № 1'1999

Назва
 

(S. Holovatyi. New Possibilities for the Protection of Human Rights in Ukraine)
 
Зміст
 
NEW POSSIBILITIES
FOR THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
IN UKRAINE

Dear Readers,

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 material.

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 capabilities.

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 original format.

· 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 officers.

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 perspectives.

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 publication.

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,
President,
Ukrainian Legal Foundation
S. Holovatyi

 

  

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