​Ukraine: Litigation during Martial Law

​Litigation during Martial Law

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The constitutional right to judicial protection is not subject to restrictions under martial law. At the same time, some courts, taking into account the real situation in the region, may establish special modes of operation.

In particular:

  • promptly and temporarily suspend the consideration of cases in open court hearings, until the elimination of circumstances that pose a threat to security; 
  • limit the reception of incoming correspondence; 
  • adjourn cases (except for urgent court proceedings) and withdraw them from consideration, since a large number of participants in court proceedings are not always able to apply for an adjournment of the case; 
  • to consider cases that are not urgent, only with the written consent of all participants in the proceedings. 

Temporary reduction of court staff and judges who may exercise their powers is allowed. It is possible to change the territorial jurisdiction of court cases and transfer them to the closest territorial court (currently civil courts of Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Donetsk, Luhansk (including the Court of Appeal), Kherson (including the Court of Appeal), Zaporizhzhia regions). 

The Council of Judges of Ukraine recommended a balanced approach to issues related to various procedural documents, leaving them without motion, setting various deadlines, and if possible, extending them at least until the end of martial law. 

Consider it impossible to postpone court hearings, which should consider the issue of choosing or continuing a measure of restraint in the form of detention. Also, some powers of the head of the relevant prosecutor's office have been expanded and some powers of the investigating judge have been transferred to ensure pre-trial investigation, extension, and detention for up to 30 days under certain articles closely related to war crimes. 

Reducing or speeding up any form of litigation is prohibited. 

To obtain up-to-date information on the activities of both the judicial system of Ukraine in general and individual courts, we recommend that you check the updates on the website of the Judiciary of Ukraine. The administration of justice is in a state of dynamic change. 

We also recommend that you copy your litigation documents to ensure that litigation can be resumed if it is lost. 

By Oleksandr Onishchenko, Partner, Integrites