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European Court of Human Rights Sets Date for Hearing Donbas Case against Russia

European Court of Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has scheduled a hearing in the case “Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russian Federation” for 15 September 2021, Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine, Commissioner for ECHR Ivan Lishchyna posted on Facebook.

“The Ukrainian side submitted answers to more than 50 questions put by the European Court of Human Rights in advance of the hearing on admissibility in the case ‘Ukraine v. Russian Federation (re Eastern Ukraine)’, i.e. the Donbas case, which is now called ‘Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russian Federation’,” the deputy minister wrote.

According to him, these are the best case files that Ukraine has collected for six years of conducting this case.

“This time, all the special services provided us with the evidence of Russia’s effective control over occupied Donbas. In addition, the Court said that it planned a very ambitious schedule in this case for next year: by September it plans to exchange views between the Netherlands and Russia on MH17, as well as gather responses from all participants, including third parties (we have two: the Government of Canada and Human Rights Law Center – University of Nottingham), to additional questions of ECHR,” Lishchyna noted.

He also added that the Court warned the parties that it would grant deferrals only in exceptional cases. That is, the Court uses the Dutch case, trying to catch up on the current consideration of the Ukrainian case on Donbas in nine months.

As a reminder, at the end of November 2020, it became known that the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights had decided to attach two other interstate cases (Ukraine’s case against Russia regarding children who were illegally taken to Russia and the Netherlands’s case against Russia on MH17) to Ukraine’s Donbas case against Russia.

As the Court explained, this decision was made “in the interests of effective administration of justice.”

In addition to this consolidated case, three other interstate complaints and more than 7,000 individual complaints over the situation in Crimea, eastern Ukraine and the Sea of Azov are pending at the Court.

Bohdan Marusyak

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