On 13-14 April 2016 the Seminar “Court protection of internally displaced persons: current challenges and the Council of Europe standards” initiated by the Donetsk Region Court of Appeal of and organized by the Project “Strengthening the Human Rights Protection of Internally Displaced Persons in Ukraine” was held in Sviatohirsk, Donetsk region. One hundred participants attended the event including the head judges of the Donetsk and Luhansk regional courts of appeal, the Donetsk Administrative Court of Appeal, the Donetsk Commercial Court of Appeal, and local courts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Among the participants were also representatives of the national free legal aid system, among them heads of local centers of free secondary legal aid in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, lawyers providing free legal aid and leading national law academics.
The event was chaired by Mr. Stanislav Kravchenko, the Vice Head of the Higher Specialized Court of Ukraine on civil and criminal cases and Mr. Oleksandr Ageev, the Head of the Donetsk Region Court of Appeal. Over the course of two days, 17 hey speakers highlighted the most challenging aspects of court protection of the rights of IDPs under civil, criminal and administrative jurisdictions.
Council of Europe expert Mr. Taras Vavrynchuk, Senior Lawyer at the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights, presented an overview of the rights of IDPs in the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights and the application of ECHR guarantees in displacement related cases. Prof. Borys Babin, the Head of Division of the Legislation Institute of the Verkhovna Rada and Ms. Olena Vynogradova, legal analyst of the NGO “Right to Protection” presented the current Ukrainian legislation relevant to the protection of IDPs and its compliance with international standards including on housing, land and property (HLP) rights, as well as potential developments in the current legal framework.
Ms. Ganna Khrystova, the Senior Project Officer in her closing remarks stressed the primary responsibility of the state for the protection of IDPs as well as the positive obligations of the state to undertake all appropriate and available measures to ensure the human rights of IDPs within its jurisdiction and to create effective national instruments of protection in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity of European human rights mechanisms.