Within five years, 3,000 applications from Ukrainian citizens were received by the European Court, of which 700 were registered, while of these 700 – 56 applications were resent to “communication with the Ukrainian government.”
These figures were called in the city of Cherkassy, at the seminar for judges, by Alexandr Nagorny, the employee of National Bureau on Observance of the Human Rights and Main Freedoms Convention of Ukrainian Justice Ministry. The seminar was carried out in the framework of the preparation programme for Ukrainian judges according to the European Convention for Human Rights and Main Freedoms Protection, leaded by the European Council, Ukrainian Justice Ministry, Ukrainian-Swiss Centre for Judicial Studies, as well as by Ukrainian regional Courts of Appeal.
According to Viktor Marinchenko, a judge of Ukrainian Supreme Court, who also participated in the seminar, many judges still do not accept the European Convention as a part of the national legislation, while considering this to be a kind of “import product.” In the meanwhile, after the Convention ratification, Ukrainian justice has to follow its principles, otherwise serious material and political losses (including expulsion from the European Union) expect Ukraine.
So, what are the complaints Ukrainian citizens address to the European Court with? Alexandr Nagorny said that of the 56 cases resent to the government, 8 were already accepted. One of these 8 cases is connected with salary of miners of the city of Lugansk, while the other 7 cases concern the conditions of keeping the people condemned to life imprisonment. The people, who at first were condemned to death, now pretend to European living standard in prison, while at the same time, many Ukrainian citizens who have never violated the law are deprived of it.
Though, Ukraine will most likely be forced to keep the prisoners of this category according to European standards. In the end of September, the prison of the city of Zhitomir will be visited by six judges of the European Court, to check up the conditions of the life prisoners keeping in the framework of the case “Naumenko vs. Ukraine.”
As for the other applications resent by the European Court to the government, most of them concern salaries. In the future, a wave of suits should be expected, connected with violated right of personal immunity and ban of torture. So far, Ukrainian law-enforcers not always keep these clauses of the Convention. In the meanwhile, Viktor Marinchenko, the judge of Ukrainian Supreme Court, said, these clauses “must be kept absolutely.” He also assumed that the recently lost in the European Court case of the savings which were not repaid did not put the point in this issue: the question was about “regenerated savings” (in other words, they decreased in value according to the rules “the state itself established”). It cannot be excluded that somebody will demand from the state to repay the full equivalent of the lost money, because in the 1990s, Ukraine legally guaranteed the savings safety and repayment, while the saving bank was acknowledged the state property.
Therefore, it is still not clear, who will first ruin Ukraine: the unsatisfied life prisoners or disappointed state depositors.
Andrei Lubensky PRAVDA.Ru Ukraine
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/09/21/47384.html