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Isabelle Desrosiers

Local NGO Pravoborets wins battle for its legal survival as the Oblast Court rejects in appeal the claim of the Ministry of Justice's Regional Office to cancel its registration as a legal non-governmental organization

This decision in appeal of the Sverdlovsk Oblast Court, following a first decision from the District Court, is therefore the final rejection of the claim of the Ministry of Justice's Regional Office to cancel the legal registration of NGO Pravoborets (direct translation of the name: Human Rights Defender).

The court ruled that the minor procedure violations (not informing the Ministry of the change of the head of the NGO) committed by NGO Pravoborets, represented in their legal battle by NGO Sutyajnik, did not justify a cancellation of their registration, as it defined the principle under Article 11 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights that such a consequence could only result from a serious violation. In addition the court stated that the inactivity of the NGO due to a lack of funding also did not justify the cancellation of their registration.

More importantly, the Court directly applied in its judgment the guarantees of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights, a result of the ongoing joint project “Strategic Application of the European Convention for Human Rights” conducted by NGO Sutyajnik in collaboration with the Ombudsman of Sverdlovsk Oblast and supported by the MacArthur Foundation.

Highlighting the ongoing struggle for funding of local and regional NGOs in Russia as well as the hard treatment they receive from Russian authorities, this ruling is of great importance as it defines greater means of protection to organizations like Pravoborets who despite their problems, nevertheless have the right to legally exist.

For more details see http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/430.html

14.05.2010

 

 

 

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