Balitskiy v. Ukraine

Violation of right to defence


ECtHR revealed systemic problems in the access to a lawyer in Ukraine

Strategic Litigations Centre ( in several cases raised two problems related to prompt access to legal assistance.

The first stemmed from the practice of the use of “administrative detention” for the purpose of criminal investigation that deprived the suspect of any safeguards inherent to a criminal suspect (see Doronin v. Ukraine no. 16505/02, Oleksiy Mykhaylovych Zakharkin v. Ukraine, no. 1727/04, Nechiporuk and Yonkalo v. Ukraine, no. 42310/04)

The second was the result of manipulation with gravity of a charge by prosecuting authorities. It concerns, as a rule, the investigation of a murder. The investigator initially classified the crime imputed as a "simple" murder or inflicting grave bodily harm resulting in death, interrogated a suspect and then reclassified the crime to aggravated murder. The sense of this trick was to circumvent requirement of mandatory legal representation in case of aggravated murder (see Leonid Lazarenko v. Ukraine, no.22313/04; Yaremenko v. Ukraine, no.32092/02, BORTNIK v. UKRAINE, no. 39582/04)

In its recent judgment in the case of Balitskiy v. Ukraine, the Court, referring to Article 46 of the Convention indicated that “both issues can be said to be recurrent in the case-law against Ukraine”.

The Court also noted that the “issues should be addressed by the domestic authorities to avoid further repetitive complaints of this type” (§ 53) and that “having regard to the structural nature of the problem disclosed in the present case, the Court stresses that specific reforms in Ukraine’s legislation and administrative practice should be urgently implemented in order to bring such legislation and practice into line with the Court’s conclusions in the present judgment to ensure their compliance with the requirements of Article 6”.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Reference Info:Decision | Ukraine

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Arkadiy Bushchenko | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Arkadiy Bushchenko on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.