R2P Conducted the Trends and Strategies for Judicial Protection of IDPs' Rights Legal Workshop in Kyiv

March 31, 2024

The Trends and Strategies for Judicial Protection of IDPs' Rights legal workshop was held in Kyiv. The event aimed to discuss trends and strategies for judicial protection of IDPs' rights within the framework of secondary legal aid implemented within the project.

The workshop brought together leading lawyers of the Right to Protection and colleagues from partner organisations, such as the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Caritas Ukraine, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), and Legal Development Network.

Nadiya Kovalchuk, Programme Director of the R2P, welcomed the participants. She emphasised that the legal programme has existed at the Foundation for the longest time and stands for the rights of IDPs in all parts of Ukraine.

Vitalii Chornenkyi, Coordinator of the Legal Aid programme of R2P, noted that this format of the meeting is useful for the exchange of experience between partner organisations:

"The Legal Workshop is a unique platform for discussing urgent problems and strategies in the judicial protection of IDPs' rights. We are glad we can involve colleagues from other organisations and hear their opinions."

In her welcoming remarks, Nataliia Rebenko, Protection and Rule of Law Coordinator of the IRC, welcomed the workshop participants and drew attention to the importance of cooperation between legal aid organisations to effectively protect IDPs' rights.

Marta Spodaryk, Deputy Coordinator of the Legal Aid to IDP and the War-Affected Population programme:

"The workshop was necessary because it was an interactive and intensive event that allowed us to bring together representatives of various human rights organisations, share practical experience in judicial protection of IDPs' rights and find ways to solve existing problems in this field. 

The workshop format allows for group work, where participants are actively involved in tasks, exchange of experience, and mutual learning, which was the goal/objective of this event."

Khrystyna Zaharova, Deputy Coordinator of the Legal Aid to IDP and the War-Affected Population programme:

"The workshop was attended by lawyers from all the Foundation's core regions. First of all, from the regions of the project implementation: Kharkivsa, Khersonska, and Zaporizka oblasts. And also from Donetska, Sumska, Dnipropetrovska, Poltavska, Kyivska, Chernihivska, Chernivetska, Vinnytska, Lvivska oblasts. Judicial defence is gaining momentum among the legal services provided by the Foundation, while out-of-court solutions to beneficiaries' legal problems are becoming less and less possible. At the same time, the topics of judicial issues and the practical nuances of applying the law are so broad that each speaker had the opportunity to focus on a separate aspect".

Over two days, the participants had the opportunity not only to listen to their colleagues' presentations on topical issues of IDP rights protection but also to participate in joint discussions and analyse practical cases. After all, it is in practical situations that gaps in legislation or the nuances of applying its provisions become clearer. It is essential that during the analysis of practical cases, everyone develops the valuable skill of analysing a situation and applying general rules to a specific case. Involving the audience in solving a practical problem instead of hearing how to solve it is more instructive and also creates an active discussion if the participants' opinions differ. And, as they say, it is in the dispute that the truth is born.

The main topics discussed were:

  • Judicial protection in disputes related to the state registration of property rights to real estate.
  • Procedural peculiarities of recognition of property rights: a lawsuit or separate proceedings.
  • Unauthorised construction in times of war: practical problems of judicial protection.
  • Acceptance of inheritance under martial law. Additional difficulties for IDPs in exercising this right.
  • Establishing the fact of birth/death in the occupied territory in court.
  • Strengthening the capacity of grassroots initiatives (local CSOs) to respond to legal needs. A mechanism for paralegal-lawyer interaction.
  • Judicial protection of IDPs who are denied accommodation allowance after changing their place of registration.

The event was held within the framework of the Providing Protection Assistance to Conflict-Affected Populations and Internally Displaced Persons in Ukraine project, implemented by Right to Protection with the support of IRC.

Marharyta Savushkina, project manager:

"The purpose of this project is to provide comprehensive and immediate, vital humanitarian assistance to the conflict-affected population living and/or displaced in Zaporizka, Kharkivska, Khersonska oblasts through monitoring, psychological and legal counselling, and humanitarian aid."

The workshop contributed to unifying approaches and resolving identified problematic aspects of national legislation and court practice.