European Court of Human Rights: Koretskyy vs Ukraine

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  • Case "Koretsky vs. Ukraine"

European Court of Human Rights: Koretskyy vs Ukraine


Sergiy Koretskyy together with his colleges founded an organization “Civic Committee for the Preservation of Wild (Indigenous) Natural Areas in Bereznyaky”. City Department informed the applicants of its refusal to register the Civic Committee on the ground that its articles had not been drafted in accordance with the domestic law. This authority proposed to put some changes in the document.

Sergiy Koretskyy filed partly changed version of the statute. City Department refused to register the organization for the second time. The founders of the organization decided to appeal to the Regional Pecherskyy Court, which ignored a claim as groundless.

Court of Appeal in Kyiv decreed that the refusal was legal, because the statue of the organization contradicts with the domestic law. The Supreme Court of Ukraine refused to try on cassation appeal with a motivation that there were no reasons why the Supreme Council has to try a case.

The right to freedom of assembly and association in this case was defended by Law Firm’s attorney-at-law Taras Shevchenko in the European Court of Human Rights. He proved that the violation of the European Convention on Human Rights took place, the 11th article of which guarantees the right to freedom of assembly and association.

The right to freedom of assembly and association according to European convention on Human Rights can be limited if they are:

  • in the interests of national security or public safety,
  • for the prevention of disorder or crime,
  • for the protection of health or morals,
  • for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

European Court try a case, in which the interests of Ukraine were represented by Yurii Zaitsev. He paid attention of the court that the refusal in registration was legal and it was necessary for proper functioning of the state register system of associations.

European Court of Human Rights adjudicated a claim and analyzed the reasons of refusal. The Court decided:

  • a refusal by the domestic authorities to grant legal entity status to an association of individuals amounts to an interference with the applicants’ exercise of their right to freedom of association,
  • the restrictions applied in the present case did not pursue a “pressing social need” and, accordingly, the reasons invoked by the authorities to refuse the registration of the Association were not relevant and sufficient,
  • this interference cannot be deemed necessary in a democratic society,
  • the Civic Committee intended to pursue peaceful and purely democratic aims and tasks,
  • the provisions of the Associations of Citizens Act regulating the registration of associations are too vague to be sufficiently “foreseeable” for the persons concerned and grant an excessively wide margin of discretion to the authorities in deciding whether a particular association may be registered,
  • even if this restriction can be said to be aimed at maintaining the well-functioning of the system of State registration of associations, it does not discern any threat to that system in that local associations could have their branch offices in other cities and towns of Ukraine.

In such a way the attorney-at-law of the Law Firm “Natalia Subota and Partners” prouved in the European Court, that Ukraine violated the right to freedom of assembly and association of the applicants.

European Court of Human Rights awarded 1500 euros for each of applicants as a compensation for moral damage.

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