The European Court of Human Rights has thus far received nearly 8,000 petitions against Ukraine, and the court statistics suggest that this number is steadily increasing, Interfax Ukraine quotes the Justice Ministry Press Service as saying. According to Ukraine’s Justice Minister Oleksandr Lavrynovych, 1,520 petitions were submitted against Ukraine in 2000 (the year when Ukraine signed the International Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms), 2,104 in 2001, and 2,549 in 2002. In the first ten months of 2003, 1,732 such appeals were filed to the European Court. “Most of those appeals are turned down by the court. Yet, the number of appeals containing formal reasons for their consideration is growing,” Minister Lavrynovych said. According to him, while in 2000 the European Court recognized 26 appeals as subject to consideration and forwarded them to the Ukrainian government for revision (this figure was thirteen and eighteen for 2001 and 2002 respectively), this year 131 appeals were forwarded to Ukraine’s government as of early November.
According to the minister, among the major categories of appeals recognized as potentially subject to consideration are complaints about the impracticability of court rulings, undue delays in litigation, illegal methods of investigation and delays in the investigation by the prosecutor’s office of torture complaints, violations of the defendants’ rights during the arrest procedure and detention, and violations of the remedial rights of Ukrainians. In late May this year, the European Court considered the cases of six Ukrainians convicted to life in prison, who turned to it with complaints about poor imprisonment conditions and human rights violations, and ruled that Ukraine pay each of them 2,000 euros in compensation within three months. Ukraine also has to reimburse the two plaintiffs’ court expenses of over 1,000 euros. In general, the European Court has already ruled on eight cases, with seven of them decided in favor of the plaintiffs.