“Occupied Territories of Ukraine: State Responsibility for Human Rights Violations in the Context of the European Court of Human Rights Cases”

26January 2017

26 of January, room 8, Palais de l’Europe, Strasbourg


Delegation of Ukraine to PACE, Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union and Center for Civil Liberties will hold a round table “Occupied territories of Ukraine: state responsibility for human rights violations in the context of the European Court of Human Rights cases” on the margins of the PACE winter session.

Occupation of the parts of the Ukrainian territory has caused several different issues to be raised before and considered by the ECtHR for the first time. The round table will focus on both Crimea and the Eastern Ukraine and will uncover typical human rights violations which are already or will be considered by the ECtHR in the nearest future.

During 2014-2016 more than 1300 cases related to the violations of human rights committed on the occupied territories of Ukraine were lodged with the European Court of Human Rights. The great majority of them raise the issue of jurisdiction within the context of Article 1 of the Convention, namely the responsibility of both Russian Federation and Ukraine. In the decision Ilascu and others v Moldova and Russia (App No 48787/99) the Court decided that in order for a State to be responsible for the violations committed on foreign territory an “effective control” of the State over that territory must be established. Legal test for “effective control” was whether the foreign State provided military, economic and political support. Currently the Court is considering the case of Polyakova and Others v Ukraine and Russia. The applicants, victims of the Convention violations during the conflict in the Eastern Ukraine, argue that because Russia has been giving political, economic and military support to the separatist regime, it is in “effective control” over the territory of Donbas region and, therefore, is one of the responsible States.

Among main violations in Crimea are: enforcing Russian citizenship on citizens of Ukraine and gaining an unsanctioned access to their personal data; restrictions on freedom of movement of persons, who have lost their id documents on the territory of Crimea; transfer of prisoners from Crimea to different parts of Russian Federation, violation of the right to private property and many others. Among the myriad of violations related to the East of Ukraine are the following: violations of the international humanitarian law, principle of proportionality of use of deadly force; non-transfer of prisoners in the penitentiary institutions in the area of the line of control; violation of the right to fair trial by a lawful authority of the persons prosecuted according to the “law” of the self-proclaimed “republics”.

Among the speakers of the event are:

Georgii Logvynskyi – MP of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Delegation to PACE;

Sergiy Zayets – Law expert, Lawyer of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union and Regional Centre for Human Rights;

Nadiya Volkova – Law expert, Lawyer of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union;

Gennadiy Tokarev – Law expert, Director of Strategic Litigation Centre of Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group.

Event will take place at 1 p.m. on 26th of January 2017 in Room 8 of the Palais de l’Europe. Please note, accreditation with the Council of Europe is necessary in order to access the building.

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