UKRAINE LEGAL UPDATE
1 July 2022
Death certification is simplified in wartime as casualties go unreported and the number of missing persons grows. The legislature amends applicable rules to make it easier to obtain death papers in court.
The Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, on 1 July 2022 amended provisions of Ukraine’s Code of Civil Procedure dealing with judicial confirmation of death.
Under the amended rules, a court application to legally confirm the death of a missing person in areas under martial law (ie, as of this writing, all of Ukraine) or in the occupied territories may be filed in any court, irrespective of the applicant’s place of residence or his actual location.
An application may be filed by the deceased’s family members or other parties whose legal rights or interests may be affected by the fact of death. Interested persons may, for example, include the missing person’s debtors or creditors, or his potential heirs. The courts must hear such matters without delay and the respective rulings take effect immediately (but they can still be appealed pursuant to the usual procedure).
The amendment has been largely prompted by a growing number of missing persons caused by the ongoing fighting in Ukraine’s south-east following Russia’s invasion in February 2022.