Ever since Ukraine adopted its Constitution in 1996 and joined the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) in 1997 the issue of the protection of human rights has become one of the most topical themes of legal theory and practice.  That became even more so when the Law of Ukraine ”On Enforcement and Application of the Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights” declared the judgments of the European Court sources of the Ukrainian law.

Despite the widely held opinion that human rights are of little use to the business community, these remedies and practices may prove to be a highly effective mechanism for the protection of business interests against unlawful or unreasonable interference by public authorities.  In particular, human rights remedies are irreplaceable in protecting assets against direct or creeping expropriation by the State and unreasonable regulation of  business activity (Article 1 of Protocol 1 ECHR), unfair trial (Article 6 ECHR), freedom of speech of media companies (Article 10 ECHR), etc.

Another widely disseminated misbelief that human rights may pertain only to individuals is completely wrong:  Article 1 of Protocol 1 ECHR directly provides that the right to property is guaranteed both to physical and legal persons; other rights such as the right to fair trial, freedom of expression, freedom of association and others also are enjoyed by legal entities. This is proved by a number of important rulings of the European Court adopted in the business field, such as Sovtransavto Holding v. Ukraine; Intrsplav v. Ukraine; MPP Golub v. Ukraine and others.

Eterna Law’ lawyers have a vast experience of representing business entities and individuals in the European Court of Human Rights as well as before the Ukrainian court in human rights matters.


Partner, Head of Corporate an  M&A, International Trade.