On 28-29 May 2018 the Director and Deputy Directors of the State Bureau of Investigation (the SBI), a newly established law-enforcement body in Ukraine, took part in a Study visit organised by the Department for the Execution of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. The visit had been co-organised and supported by the Council of Europe Project “Enhancing Implementation of the European Human Rights Standards in Ukraine”.
Having in mind that the core part of the SBI’s mandate is to investigate crimes committed by the high-ranking officials, law enforcement officers, specifically those related to torture and ill-treatment, and perpetrators of military offences, the adherence to the European human rights standards is of crucial importance and should become a core of its activities.
In this regard the study visit aimed at providing the participants with a closer insight into the work of the Council of Europe, familiarising them with the main standards set by the European Convention on Human Rights and obligations deriving from the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. Correspondingly, special attention was given to the Kaverzin v.Ukraine group of cases which are very relevant for the SBI’s future work on preventing and investigating ill-treatment by the police, prison officers and other law enforcement officials. The work of the SBI would need to address criticisms of the Strasbourg Court as to lack of effective investigations and institutionalise SBI as an effective remedy in this respect.
During the study visit the SBI’s officials had an opportunity to exchange experience with the experts from the different parts of the European Convention spectrum, namely the European Court and the Council of Europe monitoring and cooperation departments.
It is expected that consolidated efforts of the Council of Europe and the State Bureau of Investigation will have positive influence on the reform of the law enforcement system in Ukraine which is quintessential for rebuilding the Ukrainian people trust in an independent, human rights based judiciary system.