Supreme Court judges discussed the issue of application of international law in national proceedings

On February 18, 2022, the International Conference "International Law in National Judiciary" was held, organized by the Supreme Court together with the Ukrainian Association of International Law with the technical support of the OSCE project "Guaranteeing Human Rights in the Administration of Justice".
The Chairman of the Supreme Court Vsevolod Knyazev thanked the President of the Association Olga Butkevich and the OSCE project for the co-organization of the event and noted that the issues of the interaction of international and national law have always been relevant. Today, the question of the role of international law in the practice of Ukrainian courts is gaining particular importance, which is caused by the ongoing armed conflict in the east of Ukraine. It is, in particular, about the application of sources of international humanitarian law, solving issues of compensation for damage caused to the life and health of citizens as a result of the armed conflict, taking measures to compensate for destroyed property and proper investigation of crimes committed in the conditions of the armed conflict.
According to Vsevolod Knyazev, the formation of a unified judicial practice on these and other issues should be based, among other things, on the basis of a conceptually defined doctrine of law, the development of which is possible under the condition of a constructive substantive discussion.
"The course chosen by Ukraine for Euro-Atlantic integration and the importance of observing European standards in the field of human rights protection is a valuable reference point for the development and improvement of national law, in particular regarding the implementation of generally recognized European values in the national legal system. I sincerely hope that based on the results of this conference, we will be able to find effective legal mechanisms and formulate recommendations with the aim of further improving approaches to the application of international law by the courts of Ukraine," said the Chairman of the Supreme Court.
The judge of the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court, Tetyana Antsupova, moderating the thematic section "International law in administrative proceedings", noted that the practice of courts of administrative jurisdiction should be the closest in terms of approaches and philosophy to the practice of the European Court of Human Rights, because administrative courts consider cases based on claims by individuals against the state .
During the speech at the session "International Law in Criminal Proceedings", the judge of the Criminal Court of Cassation as part of the Supreme Court, Oleksandra Yanovska, spoke about the UN Human Rights Committee as an element of the legal mechanism for the protection of the rights of participants in criminal proceedings.
Citizens of Ukraine, she noted, have the right to apply for the protection of their rights not only to international judicial institutions, but also to bodies of international organizations, in particular to the Committee.
"Consolidating the specified right, the state foresees the occurrence of certain legal consequences as a result of such appeals. Therefore, the legislator should consider the issue of expanding the list of grounds for review of court decisions in criminal proceedings under exceptional circumstances by including such grounds as the adoption of a decision by the UN Human Rights Committee based on the application of a participant in the proceedings," noted Oleksandra Yanovska.
At the same time, according to the judge, it is necessary to establish clear criteria by which cases can be determined, which will be considered grounds for reviewing the decisions of national judges. This question also applies to the decisions of the ECtHR, because not every decision of this Court, which found a violation of the applicant's rights, can be a basis for reviewing the court decisions at the national level.
Vitaliy Urkevych, judge of the court chamber for consideration of cases related to land relations and property rights of the KGS of the Supreme Court, shared the practice of the Commercial Court of Cassation as part of the Supreme Court on the application of EU legal acts and the Association Agreement.
During the speech, the speaker focused in detail on the directives of the European Parliament and the Council of the EU concerning various aspects, primarily the energy sector, and which are mentioned in the decisions of the Central Committee of the Supreme Court, in particular: No. 2009/72/EU of July 13, 2009 on common rules of the internal electricity market ; No. 2004/25/EC of April 21, 2004 on applications and proposals for takeover prices; No. 2017/1132/EU of June 14, 2017 on certain issues of corporate law; No. 2017/1132/EU of June 14, 2017 on certain issues of corporate law.
The speaker also analyzed the application of the Law of Ukraine "On the Electricity Market" in the judicial practice of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, which is aimed at the implementation of Energy Community legislation in the field of energy, in particular: Directive 2009/72/EC on common rules of the internal electricity market and on the repeal of Directive 2003/ 54/EC, Regulation (EC) 714/2009 on the conditions of access to the cross-border electricity exchange network and the repeal of Regulation (EC) 1228/2003, Directive 2005/89/EC on measures to ensure the safety of investments in the electricity supply system and infrastructure (para. 2 part 1 of article 2 of the Law).
You can read more about Vitaly Urkevych's presentation here .
Yuliya Chernyak, judge of the Supreme Court of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, reviewed the practice of the Civil Court of Cassation as part of the Supreme Court regarding the application of international treaties in the field of international civil proceedings. The speaker called the expansion of international cooperation, the participation of each state in a number of universal, regional and bilateral agreements, which regulate certain procedural issues, a notable feature of the modern system of sources of international civil procedure (ICPR). She reminded that the international legal regulation of the ICPR in Ukraine is carried out at several levels: the Hague Conference on Private International Law and the UN; Council of Europe; CIS agreements and bilateral international agreements. Bilateral agreements on legal assistance and legal relations in civil, family, and criminal cases have an extremely important place in the system of sources of the International Criminal Code of Ukraine. The role of these treaties in Ukraine is greater than in EU countries.
Using the example of specific cases considered by the Supreme Court of Justice, the speaker analyzed specific procedural issues related to the settlement of civil cases with a foreign element, and ways of their settlement by international treaties with the participation of Ukraine.
The judge also drew attention to the fact that the issue of the jurisdictional immunity of the Russian Federation in cases of lawsuits by citizens of Ukraine against this state for compensation for damage caused as a result of military actions on the territory of Ukraine remains relevant until now.
You can read more about Julia Chernyak's presentation here .
At the end of the conference, the head of KAS VS Mykhailo Smokovich thanked the speakers and organizers for an interesting event that was useful for representatives of all jurisdictions.
"It is nice to hear high evaluations of the activity of the courts, including the Supreme Court. I am convinced that our courts have all the mechanisms to ensure that Ukraine complies with international standards," the head of the Supreme Administrative Court emphasized.
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