ENTRY INTO FORCE of the European Convention on Human Rights
11 September 1997
Number of implemented cases*
Natalya Grimkovskaya’s family home became almost uninhabitable after local authorities re-routed a busy motorway through the street outside. Doctors diagnosed her young son with chronic lead and copper poisoning. The European court found that the authorities had not done enough to protect Natalya’s family life. This prompted Ukraine to introduce new environmental protections.
Nataliya Garnaga wanted to change her patronymic name to more closely associate herself with her stepfather and the family she loves. But the registration office refused her request because the law did not allow it. A European court ruling found little basis for the restrictions, causing Ukraine to give everyone the right to change their patronymic name.
Four Ukrainians formed a group to help protect their local environment. However, when they tried to register their association the authorities refused, relying on administrative technicalities. The group had to dissolve. The European court ruled that this had violated the group’s right to freedom of association. In 2013 a new Law on Civil Associations created proper rules to protect such groups.
Oleksandr Volkov was dismissed from his role as a Supreme Court judge. His lawyer argued that he had been the victim of political corruption, which sought to undermine the independence of the Ukrainian judiciary. The Strasbourg court ruled that his dismissal had been filled with bias and manipulation, in breach of his basic rights. Mr Volkov was reinstated as a Supreme Court judge in 2015.
Arrest of human rights campaigner during his anti-corruption protest sparks freedom of assembly reforms
Human rights defender Oleksiy Vyerentsov organised demonstrations to protest against corruption. The peaceful gatherings were banned, Mr Vyerentsov was convicted of an offence and he was sentenced to three days’ detention. The European court ruled that his rights had been breached. The case led to ongoing reforms to protect the right to peaceful demonstrations in Ukraine.
Before a presidential election, the newspaper The Day published articles criticising two of the candidates. The politicians sued the owners of the newspaper for damages and won. The Strasbourg court found that the owners had been punished merely for publishing opinions, violating their right to free speech. The case influenced reforms to protect freedom of expression in Ukraine.
* This figure includes all judgments and decisions from the European Court of Human Rights (including friendly settlements) concerning which the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers has decided that all necessary follow-up measures have been taken. Source: the database of the Department for the Execution of Judgments of the ECHR, HUDOC-EXEC.