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May 04, 2007

Moral Damages Training Applied in Ukraine


In February 2007, the Rule of Law Initiative in Ukraine conducted its third professional development training for legal staff of its advocacy and clinical partners. The workshop focused on strategies and techniques for recovering damages for mental and emotional harm (a.k.a. moral damages under Ukrainian law). Roman Shamray, pro bono lawyer of Ukraine's sub-grantee "Sevastopol Human Rights Group," was able to immediately apply the knowledge and skills received at this training. At the time of the training, Shamray was handling the labor case of an elderly client who ended up spending three weeks in a hospital suffering serious heart problems and emotional distress after being unlawfully dismissed from work and humiliated in public by her employer who falsely accused her of theft. Upon his return from the training, the lawyer used his new knowledge to substantiate the client's claim for moral damages with the necessary evidence and argumentation. As a result, in March 2007, the court ruled in favor of the client awarding her $300 in moral damages on top of $700 in pecuniary damages.