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Ukraine to temporarily retreat from European Convention on Human Rights

Ukraine to temporarily retreat from European Convention on Human Rights Illustrative photo (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Ukraine has revised the provisions of its statement on derogation from obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights during martial law, citing a document published by the Council of Europe.

According to the document, the military leadership of Ukraine has the right to restrict the freedom of movement of citizens, inspect items, and forcibly expropriate property for the needs of the state.

"Pursuant to Article 3 of the Presidential Decree, in connection with the introduction of martial law in Ukraine, constitutional rights and freedoms of a person and citizen provided for in Articles 30-34, 38, 39, 41- 44, 53 of the Constitution of Ukraine may be temporary restricted for the period of martial law," the document reads.

In particular, the following legal measures may be implemented during martial law:

  • forcible expropriation of property for the needs of the state;
  • imposition of curfew;
  • establishment of special entry and exit regimes;
  • ban on peaceful assemblies and rallies.

In addition, inspections of items, vehicles, luggage and cargo, official premises, and citizens' residences may be permitted, except as provided by law, except for restrictions established by the Constitution of Ukraine.

Furthermore, a ban or restriction on the choice of place of residence or domicile may be established in Ukraine in areas where martial law is imposed.

Martial law in Ukraine

Martial law has been in effect in Ukraine since February 24, 2022. Since then, it has been extended several times. Most recently, this occurred on February 14, 2024, when the Verkhovna Rada voted to extend martial law for 90 days, until May 13, 2024.

Martial law is a special legal regime introduced in a country in the event of an external threat or aggression. The purpose of martial law is to ensure the safety of citizens and the state, protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, and repel aggression.