Academics of the University of Tartu School of Law promote human rights in Ukraine

The University of Tartu School of Law started an important project, which aims to advance and promote the human rights knowledge and skills of Ukrainian students and academic staff in Ukrainian universities.

Lectures are held in four leading universities of Ukraine: the Shevchenko National University in Kyiv, the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Lviv University and the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv. In the course of the two-year project, a legal scholar from the University of Tartu spends one week in Kyiv and another in Lviv and teaches an intensive human rights course in both cities.

Improvement of the human rights situation is a topical issue in Ukraine. “At the moment, Ukraine is one the three countries, against which the largest number of human rights violation complaints have been filed to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. At the government level, Ukraine mostly admits the existence of problems; another question is whether their words are followed by effective action. Partly the problem also lies in the fact that the law theorists of Ukraine have not been able to join western networks like Estonian legal scholars have, which is why human rights are still not taught in a really modern way at universities,” Lauri Mälksoo, the Professor of International Law of the University of Tartu explained. Further problems are caused by the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea by Russia.

As human rights are one of the “languages” in which countries communicate with each other in the world today, the project will also have a positive impact on the Estonian–Ukrainian relations, by strengthening relationships between academic legal circles.

Participating in the project are the teacher of French and the Council of Europe Trainer in Human Rights Education Elizabeth Kasa-Mälksoo, UT Senior Researcher Merilin Kiviorg, UT Associate Professor René Värk, UT lecturer Katre Luhamaa and UT Professor Lauri Mälksoo. The project cost is 31,000 euros, which is financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from its development and humanitarian aid funds.

Additional information: Lauri Mälksoo, Professor of International Law and Head of the Department of Public Law,, 737 6042

Viivika Eljand-Kärp Tartu Ülikooli pressinõunik Tel: +(372) 737 5683
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