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May 04, 2007

Workshop on Human Rights Protection in Criminal Trials in Ukraine


 In Ukraine, where the new Criminal Procedural Code has not yet been adopted and the notion of human rights protection is still rather vague, it is necessary to educate defense attorneys on the applicable international standards. The problem of human rights violations in criminal trials in Ukraine has been repeatedly raised by many international organizations in their reports and assessments. Although various international instruments can be applied by defense advocates to defend their clients in court, the national legislation does not allow these defense attorneys to effectively exercise these procedural rights.

On March 31-April 2, 2007, 30 defense lawyers from throughout Ukraine convened to study Articles 2, 3 and 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights, international standards on pre-trial detention (including recommendations on combating “administrative arrest”), and rules of procedure before the European Court of Human Rights. The group also conducted an assessment of the current Criminal Procedure Code for its compliance with international standards. It was the second time that Olga Dmytrenko, a Ukrainian lawyer working at the ECHR, conducted such a training for Ukrainian lawyers to help them correctly apply the provisions of the European Convention and the ECHR rules of procedure. A prominent Armenian lawyer and Staff Attorney from ABA Rule of Law Initiative in Armenia, Arayik Ghazaryan, also presented on ECHR practices and pre-trial detention issues. In addition, Arkadiy Buschenko, a Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group expert, gave a complete overview of the applicable Ukrainian criminal procedures with reference to the proposed amendments.