The Government of Ukraine has amended Art. 5 of the Law “On Court Fee”, providing for the expansion of the list of applicants and claimants, who are exempt from paying court fee. The changes are confirmed by the Law of Ukraine “On the features of the state policy on securing the state sovereignty of Ukraine in the temporarily occupied territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions” and came into force on February 24, 2018.
So, Part 1 of Art. 5 “On Court Fee” is supplemented with clauses 21 and 22 of the following content:
“21) the applicants - in cases on applications for establishing facts of legal significance filed in connection with armed aggression, armed conflict, temporary occupation of the territory of Ukraine, natural or man-made disasters that led to forced relocation from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, death, injury, imprisonment, unlawful deprivation of liberty or abduction, as well as violation of property rights on movable and/or immovable property;
22) the claimants - in cases on suits against the aggressor state, the Russian Federation, on the compensation of property and/or moral damage caused by the temporary occupation of the territory of Ukraine, armed aggression, armed conflict, that led to forced relocation from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, death, injury, imprisonment, unlawful deprivation of liberty or abduction, as well as violation of the right of ownership on movable and/or immovable property”.
According to the opinion of Galina Litvinova, the state expert on legal awareness, the Directorate for Human Rights, access to justice and legal awareness of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, the accepted changes are a movement in the right direction. “Those people who have already suffered from the armed aggression should have the possibility of real access to justice and protection of their rights,” the expert comments. “Exemption from paying court fee significantly expands this possibility. However, time will show whether these changes will justify the expectation regarding the strengthening of protection of the rights of the victims. It is likely that in the near future, we will witness the formation of various judicial practices. Obviously, approximately in three-six months, the courts will receive newsletters regarding the application of the new rules. In any case, the judicial practice, first of all, depends on the quality of the materials submitted to the court”.