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Weekly analytics of the CPLR for 19 – 25 January 2021

General news /
CPLR news

Європейський суд з прав людини визнав порушення Україною прав людини під час подій Революції Гідності

Weekly analytics of the Centre of Policy and Legal Reform include a weekly expert analysis of the most important processes in Ukraine in areas of constitutionalism, political parties and elections, governance and public administration reform, judiciary, combatting corruption, criminal justice, etc.

If you want to receive expert analytics for the last week of the current month every Tuesday by mail, please send an e-mail to (Ivan Holod, Сommunication manager).

European Court of Human Rights has recognized Ukraine's violations of human rights during the events of the Revolution of Dignity


On January 21, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) adopted 5 judgments (Shmorgunov and Others v. UkraineLutsenko and Verbytskyy v. UkraineKadura and Smaliy v. UkraineDubovtsev and Others v. UkraineVorontsov and Others v. Ukraine) on events related to mass protests in Kyiv and other cities of Ukraine during November 2013 – February 2014, known as the Revolution of Dignity.

In the above judgments the Court found that Ukraine had violated the applicants’ rights under Articles 2 (right to life), 3 (prohibition of torture and degrading treatment), 5 paragraphs 1 and 3 (right to liberty and personal inviolability), 8 (respect for private and family life), 11 (right to freedom of assembly and association).

In particular, the ECtHR acknowledged that the nature of the events during the Revolution of Dignity testified to the existence of a purposeful strategy of the then authorities to suppress the protests, which were peaceful in nature.

“… The authorities’ actions against the protesters were part of a deliberate strategy to further weaken and put an end to the Maidan protests in which the applicants took part (paragraph 520 of the Shmorgunov and Others v. Ukraine judgment”).

The disproportionate and unjustified use of force against protesters has led to a violent escalation, accompanied by numerous human rights violations for which the state is responsible. The courts were also widely involved in the repression of protesters.

“… the relevant judges failed to fulfill their obligation to control the lawfulness of the applicants’ detention and, in essence, transferred the assessment of the investigation into the court decisions” (paragraph 468 of the judgment in “Shmorgunov and Others v. Ukraine” case)

Separately, the Court emphasized that the authorities had acted with the use of “titushkas”, non-state agents who had been called in to suppress protests with the support and approval of the authorities.

CPLR assessment

Certain ECtHR findings may have implications for national law enforcement practice and affect the prospects for legislative change. Thus, the Court noted that the investigation of the crimes committed during the Revolution of Dignity had not yet established the circumstances of the alleged ill-treatment of the applicants, as well as the majority of the perpetrators of violence against the applicants. The court also found it proven that the new leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs did not cooperate sufficiently, and in some cases refused to cooperate with the investigation to establish the circumstances of crimes in which incumbent officers may be involved. In addition, the court stressed that even in the cases referred to the court, there was no significant progress in establishing the circumstances of the alleged crimes. Not all necessary measures have been taken to ensure the arrival of victims, witnesses and accused persons in court, which calls into question the effectiveness of the current procedure for investigating the circumstances of the events of the Revolution of Dignity and bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Оцінка ЦППР

Окремі висновки ЄСПЛ можуть мати наслідки для національної правозастосовної практики та вплинути на перспективи законодавчих змін. Так, Суд вказав, що розслідування злочинів, вчинених під час Революції Гідності, досі не призвело до встановлення обставин стверджуваного жорстокого поводження з заявниками, а також більшості осіб, які застосовували силу до заявників. Також суд визнав доведеним факт, що нове керівництво МВС недостатньо співпрацювало, а в окремих випадках відмовлялося співпрацювати зі слідством щодо встановлення обставин злочинів, до яких можуть бути причетні чинні офіцери. Крім того, суд підкреслив, що навіть у справах, які передані до суду, відсутній суттєвий прогрес щодо встановлення обставин ймовірних злочинів. Так і не були вжиті всі необхідні заходи для забезпечення прибуття потерпілих, свідків та обвинувачених на судові засідання, що ставить під сумнів ефективність чинної процедури для цілей розслідування обставин подій під час Революції Гідності та притягнення до відповідальності винуватців.