Court Cases that are Changing Ukraine Presented in Kyiv

Дата: 25 March 2015 Автор: Mykola Mirnyj
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At the documentary film festival Docudays UA, human rights advocates and lawyers presented a second collection of Strategic Affairs named “Court Cases that Are Changing Ukraine.”

The authors selected fifteen of the thirty cases that were up for consideration. The stories are described in simple language so that the collection may be easily understood by everyone.

“We decided at some point that the public needs to become more familiar with such cases in order for them to understand that they can make a difference. In our opinion, small, seemingly insignificant events can change a whole layer of legal problems that have accumulated in the state. Therefore, we have begun to produce strategic collections for people to become familiar with, interested in, and witness that there are such problems, but also that they are being solved. They can fight for their rights, can win, and each of us can change the juridical reality,” stated the Director on Strategic Affairs of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union (UHHRU) Mykhailo Tarahkalo according to the correspondent from the Human Rights Information Center.

A Platform for Strategic Judicial Protection operates in Ukraine and supports strategic cases. One of its members, lawyer Katerina Galenko says that, in each case, the Platform lawyers analyze how it can affect others.

Galenko says that the state has no clue about the new challenges of Ukrainians: “In our experience, I would say that the state has no clue about many issues. There is a law, a practice that is being implemented over the years, standing in one place. The system works, the state is content. But citizens, foreigners, and stateless people remain discontented. Through the courts, we are trying to make these topics interesting enough for the state to solve them once and for all. Not just for one person, but for all,” concludes Galenko, a graduate of the International Distance Learning Course for Human Rights Lawyers.

Tetiana Pechonchyk, the book’s editor and the head of the Human Rights Information Center, spoke about cases that were included in the collection.

“This collection contains the most recent cases. Those are cases of 2013 and 2014, which have already been completed and have passed all of Ukraine’s legal stages. They are very different and each of them very interesting in its own way. For example, the collection begins with the famous case Tymoshenko v. Ukraine on how Aerosvit Airlines employees defended their right to strike in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). There is a case of Dnipropetrovsk Euromaidan activists who, with the help of lawyers, have won compensation for moral damages incurred while being persecuted during Euromaidan. There is a case of a child contracting HIV in Dnipropetrovsk hospital and being reimbursed with quite a large amount of compensation. The book contains an interesting case from the Chuhuiv Human Rights Group on how three villagers from the Kharkiv region who received a court order to not leave the area without permission. When the order ended after six years, they were not told about it until two years later. For eight years, those people were deprived of the opportunity to travel outside their village,” tells Pechonchyk.

The collection can be downloaded from the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union website. The printed version is being distributed at no cost.

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