20:20 08.09.2023

Judicial practice on war crimes, recovery of damages from aggressor state is being formed in Ukraine – lawyers

3 min read
Judicial practice on war crimes, recovery of damages from aggressor state is being formed in Ukraine – lawyers

Judicial practice on war crimes and recovery of damages from the aggressor state is currently being formed in Ukraine, according to lawyers interviewed by Interfax-Ukraine.

"Due to the full-scale invasion of the territory of Ukraine by Russia, judicial practice on war crimes, as well as crimes against national security, in particular, collaboration activities, treason, encroachment on the territorial integrity and inviolability of the country is being actively formed," the head of judicial practice, partner of the ILF law firm Oleksiy Kharytonov said.

He called a positive shift, in particular, "a wave of the fight against corruption, accompanied by publicity, so we will remember 2023 for high-profile, resonant cases."

"It is also important that judicial practice continues to actively develop for the recovery of damages from the aggressor state. We receive many requests from clients to record damage caused by the war, to receive satisfaction for damage caused by the war from the ECHR," he said.

In turn, partner of JSC Batiuk, Stepanov and Partners Yevhen Stepanov, commenting on the work of the courts, said that, as a rule, in the liberated territories, the courts resumed work quite quickly, despite the problems caused by the occupation, namely the disappearance or deliberate destruction of occupiers or collaborators of case materials, other documentation, and equipment.

"After de-occupation and the resumption of work of courts in the liberated territories, justice will continue to be administered, according to jurisdiction," he said.

Head of Tetiana Danylenko Law Office Tetiana Danylenko said that in war conditions, the issue of establishing interaction between the court and the participants in the process has become more relevant than ever.

"Excessive formalism in organizing the judicial process in such emergency conditions and under such circumstances will harm the authority of the judiciary, which must protect the interests of citizens and restore their rights in any conditions. In general, the work of the courts depends on the situation in the region where such a court is located," she said.

In turn, Oleksiy Koltok, an adviser to Sayenko Kharenko law firm, said that in times of war, "we are increasingly seeing the conclusions of the courts that the right must be protected in an effective way, but in practice this rather has the opposite effect – the courts refuse claims with reference to an 'ineffective' defense that does more harm than good to plaintiffs."

"More often, conclusions are drawn that not every dispute is subject to judicial review. Courts should resolve only legally significant conflicts. It is impossible to appeal any documents in court and such cases must be closed," he said.

In turn, Olena Bilous, a lawyer at LCF law firm, said if at the end of 2022 the reference to martial law as a basis for resuming deadlines or failure to complete procedural actions was often taken into account by the courts, then in 2023 they will necessarily take into account the degree of influence of military actions on each specific situation.

"Approaches to the motivation and presentation of court decisions are undergoing significant changes, there is an increasing movement away from the formal interpretation of norms, and the explanation of the process of law enforcement and legal interpretation is often carried out by the courts through examples," she said.