Round table “Strategic litigation in the European Court of Human Rights”

On 12 November, a joint roundtable of Ukrainian Bar Association and Strategic Litigations Platform was held in Kyiv. There was a discussion with the judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Stanislav Shevchuk and Executive Director of Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union Arkadiy Bushchenko.

The main topic of discussion was the importance of the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter - the European Court) for strategic litigation in Ukraine.
Former ad hoc judge of the European Court Stanislav Shevchuk stressed the importance of Strategic Litigations Platform's activity. He pointed out that the national justice should move away from normative approach and should put human rights above all else. "The rule of law is worthless without understanding this principle by judges," said the judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. He also stressed that the best way to achieve the rule of law is through strategic litigation in the European Court, implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court's practices into national law and national law enforcement.
Arkadiy Bushchenko answered questions from lawyers about the possibility that national courts enforce laws that defined by the European Court as being incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. According to Mr. Arkadiy, in this situation it'd be perfect, if the judges think critically whether such a law is constitutional and raise this question before the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, keeping the European Court's practices as an important tool for assessing national law.
Arkadiy Bushchenko noted that there are fewer cases when the law is inconsistent with international human rights standards, than the cases when the law enforcement does not correspond to these standards.
In addition, coordinator of the Platform Anastasiya Martynovska invited to join the platform of attorneys and lawyers and briefly outlined the areas of cooperation.
During this meeting, lawyers had the opportunity to discuss the problem of application of the European Court's practices nationally and receive advice from the leading experts in the field of human rights.