10-11-2023

Ewelina Dobrowolska: both justice for Ukraine and the protection of human rights are common priorities of Lithuania and the Council of Europe

In a meeting with Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Ewelina Dobrowolska, Minister of Justice, focused on the progress made by Lithuania in implementing the recommendations of the institutions of the Council of Europe.

Ms Dobrowolska also stressed the leadership and importance of the Council of Europe in ensuring justice in the context of russian aggression against Ukraine. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe noted the successful efforts of Lithuania in implementing the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), however, reminded of ECtHR judgment in the case L v. Lithuania, which has not yet been complied with by Lithuania.

Ms Dobrowolska pointed out during the meeting that, almost two years after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, we still keep discussing the legal avenue for establishing a tribunal for the crime of aggression. She also stressed that the establishment of the Register of Damage within the framework of the Council of Europe is the first, but very important step towards ensuring justice for each victim of the russian aggression. Continued leadership by regional organisations, including the Council of Europe, in mobilising national support would allow stepping up the progress with the future tribunal and the institutional damage compensation mechanism as we still do not have effective solutions for the confiscation of the frozen funds of the russian state. The compensation fund without the funds of the aggressor state is hardly conceivable. 

The legal consequences of Russia's exclusion from the Council of Europe were also discussed during the meeting. They also discussed the ways to raise the issue of the international responsibility of the russian state for the ongoing massive and systematic violations of human rights in Ukraine in other international formats on the basis of the Council of Europe conventions.

According to Minister Dobrowolska, Lithuania has taken the lead in consolidating the support by states in important legal processes. One of most important priorities of Lithuania at the moment is to mobilise countries to take all national and international legal solutions to ensure that justice is delivered as quickly as possible and that fearless decisions are not delayed.