Russia ratifies protocol 14

On Friday, the Russian State Duma ratified protocol 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The purpose of the protocol is to make the work of the European Court more effective and to make it possible to handle the over 100,000 cases that have come into the Court faster. Previously, Russia was the only Member Country that refused to ratify protocol 14 and thereby it delayed the reforms.

The Russian ratification is a result of intensive lobbying by Russian and international human rights organisations, including Civil Rights Defenders. Ratification of protocol 14 was among several recommendations to Russia that Civil Rights Defenders drew up with a number of Russian, Swedish and international organisations during a conference in Stockholm before the summit between the EU and Russia in November 2009.

“Ratification is a step in the right direction. For individuals who have been subjected to serious abuses in North Caucasus, the European Court is often the only possibility to receive some form of recognition and compensation for their suffering. Every measure that makes this mechanism more effective is welcome, since the process currently drags on for several years,” says Erik Esbjörnson, Programme Director at Civil Rights Defenders.

Russia is the country against which most allegations are made to the European Court. Many of these allegations concern abuses committed in North Caucasus. A majority of the cases from this region, that have so far been concluded, have been pursued within the framework for Civil Rights Defenders collaboration with the organisation Russian Justice Initiative. Our collaboration has so far resulted in more than 80 judgments convicting Russia.

“Ratification will probably lead to shorter processing times but there is still a lot to be done before there is any real change in Russia. The European Court’s judgements are still not implemented nor has any one been held responsible for the serious human rights violations,” concludes Erik Esbjörnson.

Categories: Achievements.
Tags: EU-Russia relations, European Court of Human Rights, and Reforms of European Court.
Regions: Russia.