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The training project, developed by experts from the Council of Europe, for several years has performed an important educational mission for lawyers from all corners of the Old World. However, the program has been introduced in the Ukrainian language only recently — in the Ukrainian National Bar Association. And immediately, without wasting time, there was conducted the first training for advocates.

Ukrainian advocates will be taught how to complain to the ECHR

14:12 Tue 17.07.18 Author : Law & Business 310 Reviews 0 Comments Print

For the first time in Ukrainian legal orbit there appeared a platform to explore the intricacies of the appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. These courses were developed by certified trainers, ready to help in the maze of international law. After all, our indicators in appeals to Strasbourg bear evidence of the lack of necessary guidance among human rights defenders.

Long-awaited cooperation

The training project, developed by experts from the Council of Europe, for several years has performed an important educational mission for lawyers from all corners of the Old World. However, the program has been introduced in the Ukrainian language only recently — in the Ukrainian National Bar Association. And immediately, without wasting time, there was conducted the first training for advocates.

By the way, to be able to teach, one must undergo a complicated procedure approved by the Council of Europe, and receive a certificate. Therefore, the composition of consultants is not in doubt, because it includes carefully selected professionals.

The guidance for the work of advocates in the ECHR is part of the Help course, the name of which speaks for itself. Its idea is to support all representatives of the legal profession who seek to apply the provisions of the Convention on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in their daily work.

The methodology provides both for remote learning and work with the trainers. And as early as in 3 or 4 months the trainees will become professionals in appealing the Court.

Blocks of the course do not provide a dry interpretation of the articles of the Convention. The developers broke everything down by dividing ownership rights, data protection, settlement of corporate relations and other separate categories.

The Ukrainians who joined the program already constitute a considerable part of representatives. According to the number of persons interested in the educational project of the Council of Europe we are only behind Russia and France.

Some people believe that the development of practice will surely lead to increase in the size of the advocates' fees. However, as noted by coordinator of the Help program of the Council of Europe on behalf of the Bar Olena Sibiliova, the person who appeals to Strasbourg, uses the last chance for justice. Therefore, the mission of his defender first of all gets all the possible degrees of importance. This means that he has no right to make a mistake or trample the path protected by the Convention without detailed exploration.

High threshold

There was launched a training programme for familiarization with the Convention. Directly about the problematics of the listeners were informed in the Block "Admissibility criteria for applications to the European Court of Human Rights".

Namely for the representatives of the Ukrainian legal profession the first line from year to year appears to be impassable. It is difficult to realize that the ECHR receives a tiny fraction of all complaints. But the fact remains that about 95% of applications of our compatriots are rejected by the international institution.

The reasons for the invariability of sad statistics were announced by the project manager of the Help program Ana Medarska-Lazova. It is she who will support the CE in an attempt to change the disappointing statistics.

Reference applications

Junior lawyers of the ECHR Stanislav Ilchenko and Kyrylo Boichenyuk attended the training having brought the latest news. Focusing on the consequences of rejecting applications as unacceptable, the lawyers shared methods to address the shortcomings in the complaints.

Naturally, knowledge of the standards to prevent incompatibility, anonymity, similarities in substance and abuse of the right to appeal does not give a clear idea about the reasons for rejection of applications.

In addition, another obstacle may be the incorrectly interpreted rule of 6 months or omission of one of the manifestations of "explicit inconsistency".

And these are only the first items included in the course on admissibility criteria. Although the task for the tamers of the Convention is somewhat facilitated by actual practice of the Court. The latter does not cease to increase in volume, because every year Strasbourg receives about half a million of applications.

Understanding the structure of the Court, as it turned out, is also important. For example, in some cases, when considering the application, the intervention of the Grand Chamber may affect the determining of compliance.

When reaching the finish line, participants will receive a certificate from the Council of Europe. Although the learning process can not be called "cloudless", the way to the Court the complaint has to pass is even harder. Therefore, the accumulation of knowledge, no doubt, is necessary both for advocates and victims of human rights violations themselves.


Project Manager of the Help program of the Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe:

The fundamental philosophy of the course is the practical application of the theoretical knowledge obtained. Remote learning in online mode does not deprive of possibility to concentrate on essential aspects of the program.

And though the system of evaluation of students is an important aspect of learning, we give priority to the quality of the developed methodology. The tools we offer, will compare the internal judicial practice, which deals with the human rights issue, with the practice in Europe. This will allow to draw parallels necessary to understand the practical side between the legal systems.

We have long felt the acute shortage of qualified Ukrainian lawyers and take all measures for a quick fillinng of a professional niche in the ECHR.

the Coordinator of the  Help program Council on behalf of the Bar:

— In 2016, having attended in Strasbourg the conference dedicated to Help, I learnt that yet back in 2012, advocates, judges and prosecutors from member states of the COE have access to the system of professional international courses on a free of charge basis. Having deepened in this subject, I finally began to act as an intermediary between the advocates and representatives of the COE in Ukraine.

As the project coordinator I strive to ensure the knowledge gained during undergoing a course, should not just remain another plus for a separate advocate, but increase the activity of Ukrainian lawyers in the ECHR.

Despite the large number of those wishing to join the in-depth study of the Convention, we decided to conduct training at the regional level, so soon not only lawyers from Kyiv will study the admissibility criteria for appeals. The next step to a perfect understanding of the legal system of the ECHR will be the course we are already completing the work at: "Biomedicine and bioethics: the right to integrity".

It is noteworthy that the course may be attended not only by the owners of advocates certificates, but also by their assistants and trainees. We also receive requests from representatives of the scientific community, to whom courses are required for teaching. This means that the mechanism is launched and the results of our work won't be long in coming.

The article was published in the newspaper "Law & Business"

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