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The problem of prolonged detention in violation of reasonable terms of criminal proceedings: expert discussion

On Thursday, 28 July, 2016, at 4 p.m., at: 38 Volodymyrska Street (4th floor), a roundtable will be held to discuss the results of a research, carried out by the Polish-Ukrainian Open Dialog Foundation under the auspices of the Ukrainian Bar Association, entitled: “The excessive duration of detention in Ukraine in breach of reasonable time of criminal proceedings”. The research was conducted under a grant provided by The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research(NWO). We invite you to join the discussion.

In Ukraine, more than 2% of criminal proceedings are carried out by courts for 2 years. The share of acquittal is 0.3%. In total, approx. 1,000 people are held in detention centres for more than 1 year.

The reserch analysed the features of the work of prosecutors and courts which contribute to the breach of the right to a reasonable time of detention. Participants will discuss solutions to the problem of accusatory bias and the breach of the adversarial principle of courts. Proposals will be presented as to how to make common practice, refusal by prosecutors to challenge the acquittal, and rejection of charges by them in the absence of evidence of guilt. In the research, attention was paid to the actions of the persons involved in proceedings and organisational shortcomings in the work of courts, leading to the prolongation of trials. Characteristic features of the so-called ‘Savchenko law’ were analysed.

The authors of the research examined 18 cases where people were held in custody for 4 to 7 years, and in some cases – 8 and even 10 years. These proceedings were marked by gross violations by the investigative bodies and cases of exerting torture on detainees in order to bring about their confession. Prolonged detention is used in order to exert psychological pressure on the accused.

Roundtable participants will discuss recommendations prepared for the Plenum of Ukrainian Supreme Court and General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine, as well as proposals to amend legislation in order to ensure the right to the reasonable time of criminal proceedings. 


  • Sergiy Kischenko, attorney, Member of the Ukrainian Bar Association
  • Evgen Khrushovets, attorney, Member of the Ukrainian Bar Association
  • Katerina Savchenko, analyst of the Open Dialog Foundation
  • Jędrzej Czerep, Project Coordinator, representative at the Open Dialog Foundation

Moderator: Sergiy Kischenko

To participate in the event, please, register by this link:

Should you have any questions, please address:

  • Igor Savchenko, analyst at the Open Dialog Foundation – [email protected]
  • Viktoria Dotsenko, Committee and Forum Coordinator at the Ukrainian Bar Association – [email protected]