UBA presented the results of the project " The trial monitoring in war crimes cases" to the IBA webinar participants
On Monday, November 20, the webinar "The Right to a Fair Trial and Prosecution of Suspected Crimes in Ukraine" was organized by the International Bar Association (IBA) Human Rights Committee.
At the webinar, Inna Liniova, the UBA International Operations Advisor, and Zlata Symonenko, National Expert of the project "The trial monitoring in war crimes cases," presented important results of the above-mentioned pilot project, which was implemented by the UBA in collaboration with the USAID Human Rights in Action Program, implemented by the Ukrainian Helsinki Union for Human Rights.
The event became a key platform for discussing war crimes trials with a focus on trials in absentia, simplified court procedures, and witness interrogation. Experts discussed how adherence to fair trial principles affects the future international justice.
The focus of the discussion there were also issues related to the protection of witnesses' rights and ensuring their safety in court proceedings. Experts agreed that in these circumstances it is important not only to ensure the fairness of trials, but also to guarantee the safety and protection of those who dare to testify in these complicated cases.
Inna Liniova stated that for the monitoring, the UBA assembled a team consisting of two main national experts in the field of international law and human rights and seven monitors who are lawyers with experience in the field of law. The monitors attended court hearings and analyzed the court decisions in accordance with a pre-approved questionnaire. The methodology and questionnaire for monitoring were prepared by the UBA jointly with experts from the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association (IBAHRI) and the Asser Institute
Zlata Symonenko noted that the project monitors mostly had unimpeded access to court hearings, although there were cases of non-admission. Usually, the observers' non-admission was justified either by the relevant decision of the court chairman or by the martial law regime, under which the presence of unauthorized persons at court hearings is allegedly prohibited. There were also cases of postponement of hearings due to the workload of judges who had to attend hearings of other cases at that time, or due to the absence of the defense, including without valid reasons.
You can learn more about the results of the project "The trial monitoring in war crimes cases" by the link.