The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has lifted the interim measure it had imposed in the case Yuliya Timoshenko v Ukraine on 31 May 2012.
Interim measures are not expressly stipulated in the European Convention on Human Rights; they are provided for in article 39 of the Rules of Court. These rules have been adopted by the ECtHR to govern details of the procedure before the Court. Article 39 of the Rule of Court provides that ‘the Chamber or, where appropriate, its President may indicate to the parties any interim measure which it considers should be adopted in the interest of the parties or of the proper proceedings before it’.
Interim measures are chiefly issued where an irreversible fact might be created or irreparable damage to an important right might be caused before the Court can make its ruling. The main areas of application are the right to life under article 2 of the Convention and the prohibition of torture pursuant to article 3 ECHR. In the case Mamatkulov and Askarov v Turkey, the Court has held that interim measures are binding to the parties and that failure to comply with interim measures constitutes a breach of article 34 ECHR.
Miss Timoshenko had submitted an application to the Court in which she inter alia alleged that her criminal prosecution and that the conditions of her detention, the insufficient access to health care and the lack of judicial review amounted to infringements of articles 3 and 5 ECHR.
The Court had ordered an interim measure on 15 March 2012, in which it had requested that Miss Timoshenko receive adequate medical treatment. The Government had transferred her to a Ukrainian hospital and enabled her to be examined by a doctor of her choosing, a German neurologist. Given these development, the European Court of Human Rights was of the view that an interim measure was no longer called for. It therefore lifted the measure upon request by the Ukrainian Government.
At the same time, it rejected Yuliya Timoshenko’s motion to issue an interim measure that she be granted the possibility to obtain treatment in a German clinic.