Wednesday, June 07, 2023

European Court: Ukraine Violates Human Rights Convention by Denying Legal Recognition to Same-Sex Couples

In Maymulakhin & Markiv v. Ukraine, (ECHR, June 1, 2023), the European Court of Human Rights in a Chamber Judgment held that Ukraine violated Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights taken in conjunction with Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) by denying any form of legal recognition to same-sex couples. The Court said in part:

While the Court has to date not interpreted Article 8 of the Convention as imposing a positive obligation on the States Parties to make marriage available to same-sex couples, it has confirmed that in accordance with their positive obligations under that provision, the member States are required to provide a legal framework allowing same‑sex couples to be granted adequate recognition and protection of their relationship.... The Court has also held that Contracting States enjoy a more extensive margin of appreciation in determining the exact nature of the legal regime to be made available to same sex couples....

The Court ordered Ukraine to pay the two petitioners 5032 Euros each as damages and to pay 4000 Euros for costs and attorney's fees.

The Court also issued a press release (PDF download link) summarizing its decision.