Courts are offered to reconsider decisions in accordance with UN’s position


February 27, 2013

Courts are offered to reconsider decisions in accordance with UN’s position


The Parliament offers to establish another one ground to reconsider court decisions – the violation of international agreements acknowledged by the UN. Citizens currently are able to submit complains to this international organization, however, its decisions are not valid in Ukraine. 

As was noted by the representative of the Party of Regions, Oleksandr Feldman, our state ratified the international conventions and pacts of the UN in the area of human rights, as well as optional protocols to them. In accordance with these international treaties, the UN committees were established, in particular, in order to consider reports from persons, who encountered violations of the conventions’ regulations. The Committee informs the relevant state about each submitted report. After this, the country must solve this issue and inform about the taken measures. Afterwards, the Committee, having considered the report, informs a state and a person about its “verdict”. 

“At the same time, the laws of procedure do not stipulate the decisions of the UN’s committees as grounds for reconsideration of the decisions of Ukrainian courts, as the UN’s committees are not the international judicial institutions,” Mr. Feldman notes. As the result, the people’s deputy is sure, citizens are not able to efficiently protect their rights in Ukraine, even if their violation is established by the international body, the competence of which is acknowledged by our state. 

Mr. Feldman indicates the range of protocols joined by Ukraine and the fulfillment of which is in charge of the relevant committee of the UN. In particular, these are the international pacts on civil and political rights, on economic, social and cultural rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, etc. 

The member of the parliament especially notes that as our state undertook to recognize the competence of the UN’s committees, non-fulfillment of these regulations may cause imposing of sanctions. 

The member of the parliament prepared the draft law “On the amendment of some legal acts of Ukraine (regarding the guarantee of the right of citizens to appeal to the international institutions on protection of human rights)” (No. 2306). The initiative provides for the amendment of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Code of Economic Procedure, the Code of Civil Procedure and the Code of Administrative Court Procedure. In accordance with this draft law, they will stipulate that the ground to reconsider court decisions is “establishment of Ukraine’s violation of the international obligations during legal proceedings by the UN Human Rights Committee, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the Committee against Torture, Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”. 

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights, Valeriya Lutkovska, also offered to make amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure, which will allow to reconsider court decisions in accordance with position of UN’s committees. In particular, she submitted this issue to the Prime Minister, Mykola Azarov. After this, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were ordered to consider this issue and provide their propositions. 

Ms. Lutkovska explained the necessity of amendments with the fact that by joining the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Ukraine acknowledged the competence of the UN Human Rights Committee regarding the consideration of the individual complains of citizens to violation of their rights and freedoms. At the same time, the Ombudsman receives complains to impossibility to restore the rights due to gaps in legislation. 

Thus, the people deputies may choose, either to support the draft law regarding amendment of legislation prepared by their colleague, or to wait for the decision of the Cabinet of Minister on this problem.