On March 20, 2017, the District Administrative Court of Kyiv issued a ruling, according to which Decree of CMU no. 1035 was declared illegal.
The case was initiated by the public reception of the Odessa regional organization of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine and supported by the Strategic Litigations Center of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.
We have repeatedly written about notoriousDecree of the Cabinet of Ministers no. 1035, which significantly restricts the rights of the Crimean people to move personal belongings to mainland Ukraine. The Decree made forbidden for Crimean people to move personal belongings from the temporarily occupied territory, except for 23 items listed under Article 370 of the Customs Code of Ukraine. The list of allowed things contained such items as electronic pagers, portable TV-sets, ski poles, typewriters and more.
In December last year, a case of the prohibition to move personal belongings not included in the list by IDPs from the Crimean peninsula had been won in Odessa Administrative Court of Appeal. Obstacles had been overcome, however only in the case of one particular plaintiff.
Yuliia Lisova was a plaintiff in this case in the District Administrative Court. She is convinced that the judgment establishes justice on the rights of many Ukrainian citizens in Crimea.
‘For over a year, Crimean people do not stop trying to convey to the Government through various channels that Decree of CMU no. 1035 violates their rights. The court, which considered my lawsuit, is currently the only state body, which took into account our arguments about the illegality of Decree of CMU no. 1035. I am very pleased that this decision was made. The decision applies to me personally, my family and many other people, who after this decision came into force can freely move their stuff,’ says Yuliia Lisova.
Lawyer of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union Daria Svyrydova was one of the representatives of the plaintiff in the court. She said that the current ruling of the District Court of Kyiv is a decent legal assessment of government actions on illegal restrictions on the rights of Crimean people to evacuate their property from the occupied territories.
‘This ban to move property was established by Decree of CMU no. 1035. In its decision, the court stated it as a violation in adopting the Decree of national legislation (provisions of so-called Law on FEZ Crimea, Law of Ukraine “On the Rights and Freedoms of Internally Displaced Persons”) and Article 1 of Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights to protect property rights. The court stressed that the Law on FEZ Crimea granted only temporary authority to restrict the supply of certain goods (works, services) of entities, but in no way could impose restrictions on the movement of personal belongings by individuals,’ explains Daria Svyrydova.
Daria Svyrydova stressed that the Cabinet of Ministers has to separate the issues of delivering the goods and movement of personal belongings by Ukrainian citizens:
‘We welcome a principled position of the court and hope that the said judgment will be very important in the near future, when it comes into force. In addition, we hope for a quick and adequate response from the Cabinet of Ministers, which properly settles the issue of supply of goods (works, services) within economic activity, and will not formally challenge the decision of the District Administrative Court and thereby tighten again addressing simple problems of Crimeans,” says the human rights defender.
Lawyer of the public reception of UHHRU on Crimea issues Maksym Tymochko also represented Yuliia Lisova in the Court. He often faces problems caused by the Decree in practice. One of the cases of the reception was the case of Ilya Ilyin, a student of the Kyiv University, who spent more than thirty hours at the checkpoint. The boy refused to get rid of personal belongings; it prevented him from entering mainland Ukraine. Maksym Tymochko considers that the judgment shows that the right conclusions about the discrepancy of CMU Decree and the European Convention on Human Rights, the Constitution of Ukraine and the Law of Ukraine “On the Rights and Freedoms of Internally Displaced Persons” were made.
“Based on the content of the Decree, the panel of judges drew attention to the fact that the defendant, as a subject of power, provided no evidence to the court to confirm that the “public interest” for the implementation of legislative restrictions set out in paragraph 1 of impugned Decree no. 1035. This is actually quite progressive assertion of the court because that conclusion was made during the study according government regulations, Article 1 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights, which stipulates that any natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his/her possessions, and no one can deprived him/her from it, except for in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided by law and by the general principles of international law,” says the lawyer.
The court judgments must step into action after 10 days of the appeal period. The human rights defenders think that the defendant in the case will likely file an appeal. However, they believe that the court failed to understand the scale of violations of the rights of Ukrainian citizens by the executive authority.