Who will compensate Ukrainians for the millions lost in the European Court?



The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union will force Ukraine to answer for failure to enforce court rulings. Members of the organization have won three cases in the European Court of Human Rights thanks to which the victims of actions by the authorities will receive 9 thousand EUR.

The human rights organization promises to do all within its power to ensure that specific people guilty of the human rights violation compensate the public cost.  On 1 January 2013 the Law on the State’s Guarantees regarding Enforcement of Court Rulings came into effect. This envisages that the state may order that people whose actions led to human rights infringements compensate the amounts paid in damages awarded over these infringements.

The human rights workers do, however, warn that this will not be easy since the norms of the law have effectively not yet been applied. It is not clear how they’ll be interpreted by the authorities who have been given the role of retrieving the funds spent: the State Treasury; Prosecutor’s Office; courts.

Mykhailo Tarakhkalo, Director of UHHRU Strategic Litigations explains:

“According to the norms of this law it will be incredibly difficult to extract an amount in compensation, even if that is stipulated in the European Court of Human Rights judgement. However UHHRU will try to monitor the situation with bringing those guilty to answer. So that checks are carried out and the question of whether they pay compensation is considered. Should the need arise, we will try to get amendments made to the law”.

Each year Ukraine pays out millions of UAH in compensation as per European Court of Human Rights judgements. Up till 2013 the money was taken from the State budget. Specific infringers did not incur material penalties. 

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