MLI Will Contest the Disclosure of Autobiographies of Political Leaders at the European Court

March 28, 2016

Media Law Institute filed a case at the European Court of Human Rights demanding to recognize the failure to provide the political leaders’ autobiographies on the request of the NGO the violation of the right to freedom of expression.

In November 2014 Media Law Institute appealed to the Central Election Commission (CEC)  requesting the copies of autobiographies of the heads of electoral lists of six political parties that won the parliamentary elections in 2014 – Vitaliy Klitschko, Yulia Tymoshenko, Oleg Lyashko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Hanna Hopko and Yuriy Boyko. The Commission refused to provide the documents reasoning its decision as the confidentiality of information.

MLI at the courtWe have only one main explanation of the CEC non-compliance with the law – the CEC of Yanukovych-Azarov, which continued to function despite the expiration of its set term, is not able to make democratic decisions in the public interest,” – noted the Director of Media Law Institute Taras Shevchenko.

The position of the CEC does not comply with the legislation, – emphasized the lawyer of Media Law Institute Vita Volodovska, – the Law on Election of the Members of Parliament clearly states that the information of the documents provided by candidates for registration (including autobiographies) is open.”

However, the national courts of all institutions to which was appealed against the decision of the CEC also refused to satisfy the appeal and to allow the disclosure of information on the politicians’ autobiographies. 

From the very beginning we understood that the judicial praxis of similar cases, which the administrative courts reviewed earlier, indicated that the decision may be not in our favour,” – rendered Taras Shevchenko, – “but we are ready to go through all institutions and appeal to the European Court of Human Rights to protect citizens’ right to know who they are electing to the parliament.”

If the European Court of Human Rights declares the application eligible, the case will be viewed during several years.

The video report in Ukrainian can be seen here.