Implementing ECHR judgments: latest decisions from Committee of Ministers

CoE/Committee of Ministers

The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers has published the case-by-case decisions taken by the Committee during its meeting from 8 to 9 March to supervise the implementation of judgments and decisions from the European Court of Human Rights. The Committee adopted 37 decisions concerning 19 member states during the meeting, including 8 Interim Resolutions (*). 15 Final Resolutions (**) were adopted by the Committee in respect of 34 judgments and decisions from the European Court, concerning 10 different states. Following the suspension of its rights of representation in the Council of Europe on 25 February, the Russian Federation remains bound by the European Convention on Human Rights, including the obligation to implement judgments from the European Court. The Committee of Ministers examined a number of cases and adopted four Interim Resolutions concerning the Russian Federation during this week’s meeting. The Russian Federation did not take up the possibility of participating in the meeting with a view to providing and receiving information concerning judgments to which it is a party.

Concerning the Georgia v. Russia (I) interstate case, related to the arrest, detention and collective expulsion from the Russian Federation of Georgian nationals in 2006-2007, the Committee deeply deplored that, despite the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding on 17 December 2021, the Russian authorities have not paid the 10,000,000 euros in just satisfaction plus default interest. The Committee noted the action report provided by the Russian authorities on 17 February 2022 and regretted that it did not indicate any timeframe for the payment to be made. The Committee stressed again that the delay deprives individual victims from receiving compensation for damages suffered.

In the Lashmankin and others v. Russia group of cases, concerning the dispersal of unauthorised peaceful demonstrations not posing any threat to public order, the Committee noted with deep concern the lack of signs of tangible progress and the strong indications that the problem persists, in particular reports of dispersals and arrests across Russia of thousands of peaceful demonstrators opposing the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. It called upon the Russian authorities, inter alia, to legitimise spontaneous assemblies and to ensure that the use of force by police is proportionate and trials imposing sanctions on participants are fair.

In the Navalnyy and Ofitserov v. Russia and Navalnyye v.Russia cases – concerning the applicants’ conviction for acts indistinguishable from commercial activities by arbitrary, unforeseeable and manifestly unreasonable judicial decisions – the Committee of Ministers deeply deplored that, despite its numerous calls, Aleksey Navalnyy remains in detention. The Committee exhorted the authorities to assure his immediate release, quash the convictions in both cases and fully reimburse the applicants.

Regarding the Pichugin v. Russia case, concerning violations of the right to a fair trial, the Committee of Ministers noted that the reopening of domestic criminal proceedings did not ensure redress for the applicant. The Committee deplored that, despite its calls since 2016, no alternative avenues have been found to secure such redress. It exhorted the Russian authorities to urgently find such solutions.

The Committee of Ministers also adopted an indicative list of cases to be examined during its next dedicated meeting on the execution of judgments, which will take place from 7 to 9 June 2022.

(*) An Interim Resolution is a form of decision adopted by the Committee of Ministers aimed at overcoming more complex situations requiring special attention.

(**) A Final Resolution is a Committee of Ministers decision whereby it decides to close the supervision of the execution of a judgment, considering that the respondent state has adopted all measures required in response to the violations found by the court.

Public Release. More on this here.