Ukraine: ICJ expresses concern for attacks to judges and lawyers before UN Human Rights Council
The ICJ today urged the UN Human Rights Council to call on Ukrainian authorities to uphold judicial independence and protect lawyers under attack for their work during the interactive dialogue with the Deputy High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in Ukraine.
The statement reads as follows:
The International Commission of Jurists deplores the political interference with judicial independence in Ukraine.
Despite the annulment by the Supreme Court of the Presidential Decree removing the President of the Constitutional Court from his post, Justice Olexandr Tupytskyi has not been reinstated.
The ICJ considers that the presidential decrees that removed Constitutional Court Justices Oleksandr Tupytskyi and Oleksandr Kasminin, outside of the existing procedure, violate the obligation to uphold the independence of the judiciary.
The ICJ is concerned at cases of unwarranted interference with the work and independence of lawyers, in particular searches and arrests of lawyers. From April to June 2021 more than 110 such cases were reported. In 2020, the ICJ identified a pattern of threats, harassment and other attacks on lawyers in Ukraine, including those who defend human rights.
The ICJ calls on this Council to address these troubling patterns and to call on the Ukrainian authorities to:
• uphold judicial independence in particular, by complying with the decision to reinstate the President of the SC and ensuring the security of tenure for judges;
• protect the lawyers under attack for their work and ensure prompt, thorough, impartial and independent investigations of all attacks on lawyers, leading, where appropriate, to bringing those responsible to justice.
I thank you.”
Massimo Frigo, ICJ UN Representative, e: massimo.frigo(a)icj.org, t: +41797499949AdvocacyNon-legal submissions