Press Reports concerning the lack of progress in the Yanukovych EU Sanctions Challenges are wrong

17 July 2015
Author: JHA

You can download this press release as a PDF in English or Russian.

There have been press reports in Ukrainian media concerning the progress of the cases brought by President Yanukovych and his sons seeking annulment of the sanctions imposed by the EU against them. Some of these reports are said to be based on statements made by a supposed “spokesperson” of the Court of Justice of the European Union.*

Such reports assert that according to the spokesperson it was not correct for V.F. Yanukovych and his sons to have made their applications in the English language as opposed to the French language, and that this had hampered their cases. If, which it is hoped and anticipated is not the case, there was any such statement made by a Court spokesperson, it was wrong and should never have been made.

Not only is it inappropriate for a Court spokesperson to comment on pending cases, but the Court does not in any way discriminate against, or treat less expeditiously, cases in which the English (or any other permitted) language is the language of the case, and it would be wrong in principle if it did so. Article 35 of the then applicable Rules of Procedure expressly permits any one of a number of European languages (including English and French) to be chosen by the applicant as the language of the case, and the Court is very familiar with, and well able to conduct, cases in other permitted languages just as expeditiously as those in the French language.

This is just one more example of inaccurate press reporting in Ukraine which purports to be based on leaks from European Institutions, and which contributes to a false picture as to the content and course of the annulment applications of V.F.Yanukovych and his sons. In order to seek to correct this false picture, and to enable the public to see what is actually happening in the cases, the law firm Joseph Hage Aaronson had already, before this last incident, written on behalf of President Yanukovych and his sons to the Council of the European Union and other relevant recipients requesting their consent (prior to an application to the Court) to the public being given access to the files of their annulment applications, including access to all written pleadings of the parties and the orders of the Court. The Council and other relevant parties have not yet even replied to this request.

* e.g. Суд ЄС досі не призначив розгляд справи Януковича, який помилився мовою

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