On Wednesday, July 12, the Committee on Legal Policy and Justice heard a report of the Government Commissioner for the implementation of the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). During his speech the Commissioner didn’t manage to provide a comprehensive list of systemic problems that the country has to solve.
Consequently, the result of the hearings was the preliminary adoption of the corresponding roadmap. Ruslan Sydorovych believes that Ukraine definitely needs such a document, since the situation with observance of human rights is disastrous.
He says, “There is a good saying – if you do not know where you are going, you will come to a wrong place. With the Council of Europe having 47 member countries, more than 20% of appeals to the ECHR come from Ukrainians. However, the worst situation is observed in the implementation of decisions of national courts. What is the situation today? A person goes through seven circles of hell in order to get court’s decision; but once he/she has it they might never see the decision being executed. Moreover, the decisions of the ECHR itself are not implemented.”
Another problem specified during the hearings was the observance of human rights in the Penitentiary Service. Ruslan Sydorovych emphasizes that we also have huge problems in this sphere.
He explains: “It’s about the conditions in both pre-trial detention centers and places of detention. The idea of convicting a person for the commission of crime in a normal country lies in the attempt of making the person better, returning him/her to the society as a full member of it – and not in formation of a criminal from somebody who is not a criminal, and an even greater a criminal from a criminal. Moreover, there is sad statistics related to the use of torture by law enforcement agencies in relation to detainees.”
Thirdly, we talked about the state’s fulfillment of obligations to recover funds in accordance with the decisions of the ECHR. “Today, the state cannot say what the total amount of financial obligations to citizens is. This passes all belief, but the amounts are estimated in billions,” Ruslan Sydorovych emphasizes.
Despite this, the bill #6600 on distributing – in other words carving-up – of 25 billion from the overfulfilment of the state budget does not provide a single hryvnia for the fulfillment of the state’s financial obligations to citizens in accordance with the decisions of the ECHR.
“Therefore,” Ruslan Sydorovych concludes, “we hope that through our joint efforts together with the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe of the relevant department, by means of the appropriate parliamentary control tools we will be able to carry out the necessary actions that will not only make Ukraine execute the ECHR’s decisions, but will also change the situation in such a way that human rights will become a truly fundamental value.”