Lawyer: Law on banning the UOC contains wording that violates human rights

07 December 2023 11:27
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Head of Public Advocacy Oleg Denisov. Photo: screenshot from the YouTube channel of NGO Public Advocacy. Head of Public Advocacy Oleg Denisov. Photo: screenshot from the YouTube channel of NGO Public Advocacy.

Human rights defender Oleg Denisov said that the draft law on banning the UOC contains problematic wording that cannot be accepted in international law.

The head of the human rights organisation NGO Public Advocacy Oleg Denisov said that the draft law No. 8371 on banning the UOC contains wording that cannot be accepted in international law and shows that this law violates human rights. He said this in an appeal published in the YouTube channel of NGO Public Advocacy.

According to the human rights defender, international law provides for the principle of personal legal responsibility, so it is impossible to ban an entire denomination for individual offences of its individual representatives.

"It is possible to ban only a specific legal organisation, not 12 thousand, but only if there are clear grounds. For example, if it violates laws, if its ideology is extremist and destructive, provided this is spelled out in the law as a reason for such a ban. There is no such thing in Ukrainian law, and it cannot be applied to the UOC. Its ideology is neither destructive nor extremist, and it has never been such. It is a religious Orthodox organisation whose ideology is the Gospel," he said.

Denisov also noted that corporate regulations also do not allow banning organisations for the affiliation of their administrative centre to another state.

At the same time, Denisov is confident that the experts of the Venice Commission will give a negative opinion to the bill on the ban of the UOC.

"I believe that the appeal to the Venice Commission by the MPs of Ukraine is not a bad step. The Venice Commission consists of authoritative professionals in the field of law. They are scholars, and they are expected to make only adequate conclusions. Any commission, any experts, if they are not biased, including the Venice Commission, will give a negative conclusion to the effect that this law does not comply with the norms of international law," the lawyer added.

As reported by the UOJ, the head of the Servant of the People faction, David Arakhamiya, said that the expertise of the law on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the Venice Commission was necessary for accession to the EU.

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