by President of Sutyajnik Sergey Belyayev
ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2010: Strategic Application of the
European Convention on Human Rights in Russian Courts
Report period: January 1, 2010 – December 31, 2010
THIS REPORT IN RUSSIAN
Organization: Sverdlovsk Regional Social Organization Sutyajnik
I. STRATEGIC CAMPAIGN FOR THE APPLICATION OF THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN TRIAL PRACTICE
The organization is litigating over fifty cases in national courts involving application of the Convention and ECHR decisions, as well as cases in the ECHR itself that have the capacity to impact the practice of national courts. Trials are being held for the following categories of cases: murder, torture, cruel and inhumane treatment, defense of the right to liberty and security of person, defense against slave labor (human trafficking), the right to access to justice, property rights, the right to freedom of movement, the right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression, the right to freedom of assembly, and the right to freedom from discrimination. Over the past year we won six cases in national courts, and three in the ECHR. Eleven cases were directed to the ECHR after exhausting domestic legal remedies.
Homicides committed by government representatives
Complaint by R. V. Kukushkina seeking payment of damages in connection with the death of her son in a correctional facility.
After his conviction, R. V. Kukushkina’s son, being in perfect health, was interned in Sverdlovsk Oblast Correctional Facility No. 2. Four months later he died of a large number of injuries. Kukushkina filed a suit against the General Office of the Federal Penitentiary Service on the basis of articles 2 and 3 of the Convention and respective ECHR case law, according to which the state is assigned a duty to ensure that each prison inmate be kept in conditions compatible with respect for human dignity and life. The complaint was dismissed. The state also refused to prosecute a criminal case over the death of the inmate. A complaint was filed in the ECHR. Case materials are available here: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/441.html
Complaint by L. S. Bugrova seeking filing of criminal charges under article 125 of the Russian Criminal Code (leaving a person in mortal danger without help) and part 2 of article 293 of the Russian Criminal Code (negligent homicide).
The complainant’s husband had died in the building of the Oktyabrskoye District Office in Ekaterinburg of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The death occurred within the walls of the law enforcement agency building at a time when the police as state agents were responsible for his life and health, and were obligated to prevent any physical violence that he may have been exposed to. The police did not fulfill this responsibility. Since police officers did not do anything in order to prevent her husband’s death, Bugrova filed a criminal complaint with the Oktyabrskiy District Public Prosecutor's Office in Yekaterinburg. Bugrova’s counsel is demanding that a thorough investigation into the death be conducted, as required in Article 2 of the Convention and respective ECHR case law. The police officers who permitted the inmate’s death have yet to face criminal charges. However, the court in a civil suit declared illegal the inaction of the Internal Affairs (Oktyabrskoye District Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Yekaterinburg) officers who failed to prevent the infliction of severe injury to Bugrov’s health that had caused his death on the premises of the law enforcement agency. The decision to refuse filing criminal charges in relation to the death on the premises of the law enforcement agency is currently being appealed. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/431.html
Articles 134 and 254 of the Russian Code of Civil Procedure, relating to a widow or widower lacking legal standing to file suit on behalf of a deceased spouse, were declared unconstitutional.
During the night of 7-8 October 2009 Bugrova’s husband sustained bodily injuries in the Oktyabrskoye District Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Yekaterinburg, and subsequently died. Law enforcement officers called emergency medical assistance only sixteen hours after the injuries were sustained. Considering the law enforcement officers’ inaction illegal, Bugrova filed a complaint in court over the law enforcement officers’ failure to protect her deceased husband. However, the judge dismissed Bugrova’s complaint, citing articles 134 and 254 of the Russian Code of Civil Procedure, indicating that she cannot file suit on behalf of her deceased spouse. This rejection compelled the complainant to appeal to the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. In her complaint filed in the Russian Constitutional Court, the complainant cited Article 2 of the Convention (right to life), indicating that according to ECHR practice she is an indirect victim, a person who may experience a violation of her personal rights through the violation of another person’s rights, and therefore, she may file suit on behalf of her deceased spouse in spite of the contrary language in articles 134 and 254 of the Russian Code of Civil Procedure. Furthermore, in her complaint the complainant also cited Article 13 of the Convention (right to effective legal remedy), since the rules in question prevent her from taking advantage of the most advantageous legal remedy (chapter 25 of the Russian Code of Civil Procedure), because, in lawsuits involving complaints under that chapter, the state agencies bear the burden of proving the legality of their actions or inaction. In a memorandum issued on 15 July 2010, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation refused to consider the complainant’s complaint, although it confirmed the complainant’s right to seek legal remedy as an indirect victim. In other words, the Court effectively applied the principle established in article 2 of the Convention. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/449.html The district court later decided the case on its merits in favor of the complainant (see previous case).
Defense of the right to liberty and security of person, defense against torture and inhumane and degrading treatment by government representatives
Romanyuk v. Russia
L. L. Romanyk, who works as a surgeon at Central City Clinical Hospital No. 23, was forcibly detained in Psychiatric Hospital No. 6 upon a request from the administration of Central City Clinical Hospital No. 23. The complainant claims a violation of articles 3 and 5 of the Convention in connection with coercive hospitalization in a psychiatric hospital. The case was directed to the ECHR. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/423.html
Ignatiev v. Russia
In February 2009, following a summons from district officer Yu. Ya. Brevnov, Ignatiev came to the Chkalovskoye District Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Yekaterinburg to give a deposition on his former spouse’s complaint. But Ignatiev was not deposed. In the district officer’s office Ignatiev was approached by orderlies who demanded that he enter an ambulance with him. He was taken to Psychiatric Hospital No. 6 in Yekaterinburg, where he spent three weeks without being administered any treatment. The complainant filed suit in the ECHR under articles 3 and 5 of the Convention in connection with coercive hospitalization in a psychiatric hospital. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/477.html
Human rights activist Vladimir Shaklein appeals illegal detention
On 16 June 2009 near the main post office the head of the Interregional Center for Human Rights Vladimir Shaklein was arrested illegally, and was taken by force to the police department of Kirov district in Yekaterinburg. He was detained there illegally for half an hour and then released. Shaklein has filed a complaint in the Kirov district court of Yekaterinburg, requesting that his arrest be declared illegal. In December the court refused to grant the request to declare the actions of the officers of the Kirov District Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Yekaterinburg illegal. Case materials have been directed to the ECHR: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/466.html
Compensation for the illegal arrest and detention of a motorist
In April 2009 State Traffic Safety Inspectorate officers detained L. for 16 hours for allegedly failing to pay a fine of 100 rubles. L. had, in fact, paid the fine, which was confirmed by an internet banking document. L. filed a complaint in court, seeking damages for emotional distress and illegal arrest. In addition to the complaint, the plaintiff justified his demands by citing article 3 of the Convention, relating to conditions of incarceration, and article 5 of the Convention (right to liberty and security of person), relating to the illegality of his arrest and delivery to the District Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The court declared the actions of State Traffic Safety Inspectorate officers an illegal restriction of liberty, and assigned liability to the Sverdlovsk Oblast Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation for damages from emotional distress caused by the actions of the State Traffic Safety Inspectorate officers. Furthermore, the court’s decision directly applied clause 1, sub-clause c of article 5 of the Convention, relating to establishing the illegality of arresting the plaintiff. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/438.html
Zakharkin v. Russia
10 June 2010 ECHR violation of Convention article 3 (inhumane conditions of detention, failure to provide medical services that the complainant needed), Convention article 6 (trial by illegally composed court), Convention article 34 (state restricted exercise of the right to file suit in the ECHR: refusal to permit counsel (staff attorney of non-governmental organization) access to pretrial detention facility). Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/462.html
Sharkunov and Mezentseva v. Russia
10 June 2010 the ECHR delivered a judgment on violation of article 3 of the Convention, relating to the absence of an investigation into circumstances of cruel treatment and on violation of article 6 of the Convention, relating to the impossibility of interrogating a witness. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/207.html
Borisov v. Russia
Borisov was convicted by a district court for fraud and sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment. He was detained pending trial Sverdlovsk Oblast court reviewed his cassation appeal in the absence of the defendant: the defendant had not been delivered from the pretrial detention center to the court for trial. The convict is being held in the pretrial detention center in improper conditions in violation of sanitary and other rules. Borisov claims violation of the right to liberty from inhumane and degrading treatment (article 3) and the right to a fair trial (Convention article 6). 4 December 2009 the ECHR assigned the case a high review priority, and requested that the Russian government submit a memorandum on the case by 26 March 2010. 7 June 2010 in response to the government’s memorandum the complainant’s counsel submitted Borisov’s memorandum. A decision on the merits of the case is expected. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/456.html
Rozhin v. Russia
The complainant claims violation of article 3 of the Convention in connection with detention conditions in a pretrial detention facility and failure to provide medical care. The case was communicated to the government. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/493.html
Submission to declare regulations for prison cell dimensions, as set by resolution of the Russian government, in violation of Convention article 3.
In a cell for administrative arrestees Bugrova’s husband sustained bodily injuries that led to his death. The cell was overfull, and there were not enough beds for everyone. A Russian government resolution sets the standard area in each cell per administrative arrestee at just 2 square meters, which does not comply with international standards. That is why Bugrova submitted to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation a request to abolish the respective clause in the Russian government resolution. The complainant justified her demands by citing the Convention. In particular, the complaint contains a citation to recommendations of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which were founded on the basis of ECHR decisions, and set a minimal area requirement of 7 square meters in a cell for each arrestee. As of the present, a decision has yet to be made on this case. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/480.html
Public monitoring of correctional institutions
Members of the Public Oversight Commission for Control of Penitentiaries in Sverdlovsk Oblast regularly consult with Sutyazhnik’s lawyers. News of their activities, materials, and other documents on the results of public monitoring of penitentiaries are published here: http://sutyajnik.ru/files/40/
Defense against slave labor (human trafficking)
Rantsev v. Cyprus and Russia
The complainant’s daughter Oksana Rantseva arrived in Cyprus on 5 March 2001, and received a work permit for employment as a translator until 8 June 2001, but was forced to work as an ”artist” in a striptease club. Oksana lived with other girls until 18 March 2001. She left the apartment with her belongings, having left a note that she was tired and wanted to return to Russia. The striptease club owner found Oksana at a nightclub in Limassol at about 4:00 A.M. on 28 March 2001, took her to the Limassol central police department, and left her there. Soon afterward the police returned Oksana to the striptease club owner. One and a half hours later Oksana was found dead on the street under the balcony of the house of a striptease club employee. 7 January 2009 the European Court for Human Rights resolved that Cyprus had violated the right to life (there had been no investigation into the circumstances of the death), freedom from torture (there had been no investigation into the fact of cruel treatment), the right to liberty, and both Cyprus and Russia had failed to provide protection against human trafficking and exploitation. 15 September 2010 a meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe was held on the issue of enforcing the ECHR resolution. Sutyazhnik conducted a roundtable discussion at which participants decided to submit a petition to the President of Russia and the Russian State Duma on the necessity of ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/397.html
Adoption of Russian citizen children by foreign citizens based on forged documents establishing absence of relatives
Five years ago an English family adopted Igor Galayev, and took him abroad. Guardianship department employees had forged statements by the boy’s grandmother and father renouncing the child. The Sverdlovsk Oblast court and the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation refused an appeal by the adoptee’s father, grandmother, and brother to reconsider the decision of the Sverdlovsk Oblast court based on newly discovered circumstances, viz. the forged documents. The aforementioned courts likewise refused to reconsider the court’s decision as an appeal of cassation. The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation refused to consider the complaint seeking that the article of the Code of Civil Procedure which prohibits interested parties who had been absent at trial to appeal a court’s decision be declared unconstitutional. Sutyajnik lawyers, representing the victims, indicated in their complaints and submissions to national courts that the refusal to reconsider the case violates the complainants’ rights to a fair trial (Convention article 6), to an effective legal remedy (Convention article 13), and to family life (Convention article 8). After exhausting all available legal remedies in Russia, case materials of Galayeva et al. v. Russia were directed to the European Court of Human Rights. http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/463.html
The right to a fair trial
Complaint seeking damages for violation of the right to a timely trial
In May 1996 Moscow border control detachment officers refused to let B. leave Russia. The border control officers’ actions have become the subject of a lawsuit. The court has yet to enter a decision on the case. In connection with the court’s failure to resolve the case over a fourteen-year period B. submitted a complaint seeking damages for violation of the right to a fair trial within a reasonable timeframe on the basis of Federal Law “On Compensation for Violations of Judicial Deadlines and Execution of judgments.” The law had first become effective 4 May 2010. Its purpose was to create a national legal remedy for violations of judicial deadlines and to reduce the number of complaints submitted to the ECHR over the violation of Convention article 6. The courts dismissed the complaint. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/455.html Summary case documents will be submitted to the ECHR to be joined with already docketed case No. 13898/06, which involves violation of part 1, articles 6, 13, and 18 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and article 2, clause 2 of Protocol 4 to the European Convention on Human Rights. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/246.html
Gorskaya v. Russia
N. M. Gorskaya submitted a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights for a violation of article 6 of the Convention and article 1 of Convention Protocol 1 in connection with the nonexecution of a domestic court judgment. The government unilaterally submitted a proposal to the ECHR on payment of fair compensation and removal of the case from the docket. The complainant rejected the offer, insisting that the court issue a judgment on the merits of the case. A decision of the ECHR is expected. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/409.html
Lawsuit seeking damages for a violation of the deadline for execution of a judicial act
In May 1996, property belonging to the organization Trade Union Legal Service (a television, a refrigerator, and a copy machine) was seized as part of an interim measure for a lawsuit by the Yekaterinburg city administration. In a court hearing to remove the attachment from the property, the organization proved that the seizure had been illegal. The property has yet to be returned per court decision. The organization submitted a complaint seeking damages for nonperformance of a judicial act in a timely manner in accordance with Federal Law “On Compensation for Violations of Judicial Deadlines and Execution of judgments” effective 4 May 2010. The courts dismissed the case, arguing that the law does not apply to the actions of court bailiffs. Case materials (http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/458.html) will be directed to the European Court for Human Rights to be joined to an already docketed case: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/384.html
Nonperformance of court decision by court bailiff service
28 November 2008 a judge entered a decision in favor of complainants seeking damages from a commercial enterprise for material losses and emotional distress (70,000 rubles). The court’s decision has not yet been executed, because the court bailiff service lost the enforcement orders, as well as their duplicates. As a result, the complainants submitted a complaint on the court bailiff’s actions. In support of their demands, the complainants indicated that the protracted nonperformance of a court decision constitutes a violation of Convention article 6 and article 1 of Protocol 1 to the Convention. A court decision is expected. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/478.html
The right to have cases decided by judges in conference rooms
In the House of Justice in Yekaterinburg, where the Sverdlovsk Oblast Court is currently located, there are no conference rooms (soveschatelnie komnaty). According to law, judges are obligated to retire from a trial room where a hearing takes place to a conference room to deliberate and make their decisions. Instead public is being asked to leave a trial room. In order to resolve the situation and restore legality, a complaint has been filed in the court requesting that the actions of officials be declared illegal. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/479.html
V. N. Mikhaylova v. Russia for violation of Convention articles 6 and 13 (right to representation in a civil trial)
The complainant litigated a case against a corporation without legal counsel. The corporation’s interests were represented by five people, including three lawyers and two managers of the organization. The complainant claims that the balance between the parties was violated. In 2010 the complainant passed the supervisory judicial instance (nadzor) exhausting national remedies. Respective materials were directed to the ECHR to confirm that domestic legal remedies have been exhausted. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/322.html
Protection of property rights
Civil complaint of Yu. B. Basok against Yu. A. Demin seeking damages for material losses and emotional distress
6 July 2010 Basok submitted a civil complaint against the head of the State Traffic Safety Inspectorate, Sverdlovsk Oblast Chief Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, seeking damages for material losses and emotional distress for a camera broken during a protest by motorists (during a protest, the head of the State Traffic Safety Inspectorate, Sverdlovsk Oblast Chief Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, while spouting obscenities, had struck the complainant, who had photographed the head of the State Traffic Safety Inspectorate violating traffic safety rules). The plaintiff cites article 1 of Protocol 1 of the Convention (the right to property). 13 October 2010 a decision of Yekaterinburg Verkh-Isetskiy district court Judge I. A. Mayorova dismissed the plaintiff’s case. Case materials (http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/465.html) will be directed to the ECHR to be joined to the case Basok v. Russia: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/450.html
Complaint seeking that clause 19 of the Registration Procedure for Unemployed Citizens, having served as the basis for illegally denying unemployment benefits, be declared illegal
B. submitted a complaint to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation seeking that clause 19 of the Registration Procedure for Unemployed Citizens (a Russian Federation Government Resolution), in particular, the words “. . . at least twice per month” (i.e. the acceptable frequency of re-registration by unemployed citizens in the employment service) be declared in contradiction with Law of the Russian Federation “On Employment of the Population,” which sets the acceptable frequency of re-registration at “. . . no more than twice per month.” Payment of benefits depends on compliance with the re-registration procedure. Payment of the benefits is within the scope of the concept of property observed in the Convention and ECHR practice. The complainant cited clause 1, article 1 of Convention Protocol 1 (respect for property rights). 26 April 2010 Justice N. S. Romanenkov, acting on behalf of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, declared clause 19 of the Registration Procedure for Unemployed Citizens in contradiction with Law of the Russian Federation “On Employment of the Population,” and void beginning the moment the court decision would become effective. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/443.html
Declaration of unconstitutionality sought in relation to Federal Law “On Employment of the Population in the Russian Federation,” article 35, clause 3, sub-clause 5, which fails to establish a clear basis for denying payment of unemployment benefits
The complainant was registered in the employment service agency. He could not appear for a regular re-registration because he was at an international conference outside of Russia. The employment center declared that this was not a legitimate reason for his absence, and suspended payment of unemployment benefits. This decision was made on the basis of Federal Law “On Employment of the Population in the Russian Federation,” article 35, clause 3, sub-clause 5, according to which payment of unemployment benefits may be suspended for up to three months if the unemployed individual in question violates the conditions and deadlines for re-registration as an unemployed person without a legitimate reason. Considering this rule unconstitutional, the complainant submitted his complaint to the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. The complainant cited article 1 of Protocol 1 of the Convention (respect for property rights), indicating that according to ECHR case law, payment of benefits is within the scope of property rights. Therefore, a government may refuse benefits only under conditions clearly stipulated in the law, such that citizens can foresee the possibility of observing those conditions. The aforementioned law provision is not clearly formulated. It fails to explain what exactly a legitimate reason could be. 27 May 2010 the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation dismissed the complaint. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/448.html
Defense of the right to freedom of movement
Complaint seeking declaration of the right of a minor child to leave the Russian Federation
20 August 2010 border control detachment officers at the Yekaterinburg airport refused to allow N.’s minor son leave the Russian federation. The boy was on his way with his mother to Turkey for recuperation and vacation. In connection with the border control officers’ actions, N. submitted a civil complaint seeking damages for emotional distress and material losses equal to the cost of the boy’s trip ticket. The plaintiff claims violations of article 2, clause 2 of Protocol 4 to the Convention (right to leave one’s country) and article 1 of Protocol 1 of the Convention (property rights). The district court dismissed the complaint without considering it on the merits. At present the case is being reviewed by a court of cassation. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/447.html
Defense of the right to free speech and freedom of expression
Declaration of unconstitutionality sought in relation to Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation, article 246, part 7, concerning defense of the right to collect information and violation of a victim’s right to redress
8 January 2009 in Yekaterinburg during an organized demonstration of motorists the head of the State Traffic Safety Inspectorate, Sverdlovsk Oblast Chief Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, while spouting obscenities, punched a journalist who had photographed the head of the State Traffic Safety Inspectorate violating traffic safety rules. Based on these facts, criminal charges were filed for intentional infliction of damage to property and exceeding official authority, including the unauthorized use of violence. During the trial the prosecutor renounced the prosecution (Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation, article 246, part 7), which served as the basis to terminate judicial proceedings without considering the victim’s opinion. The victim made a submission to the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, seeking that Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation, article 246, part 7 be declared unconstitutional for violating a victim’s right to redress. The complainant cited article 6, part 1 of the Convention in support of his argument that the contested provision is unconstitutional, indicating that the prosecutor’s renunciation of the prosecution for any reason (which is mandatory for the court) amounts to a subversion of justice. The complainant also cited article 13 of the Convention, since the termination of a criminal case without considering the victim’s opinion in connection with a prosecutor’s renunciation of the prosecution is not an effective legal remedy. As an additional argument, the complainant cites a violation of Convention article 10, part 1 (the right to receive and distribute information) and article 1 of Protocol 1 of the Convention (property rights). The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation dismissed the case: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/457.html The case has been directed to the European Court for Human Rights (see next case below).
Basok v. Russia (2)
8 January 2009 in Yekaterinburg during an organized demonstration of motorists the head of the State Traffic Safety Inspectorate, Sverdlovsk Oblast Chief Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, while spouting obscenities, punched a journalist who had photographed the head of the State Traffic Safety Inspectorate violating traffic safety rules. Based on these facts, criminal charges were filed for intentional infliction of damage to property and exceeding official authority, including the unauthorized use of violence. During the trial the prosecutor renounced the prosecution (Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation, article 246, part 7), which served as the basis to terminate judicial proceedings without considering the victim’s opinion. The complainant made a submission to the ECHR, claiming violation by the Russian government of article 5, 6, 10, and 13 of the Convention, and article 1 of Protocol 1 of the Convention. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/450.html
Kapustin v. Russia (violation of European Convention on Human Rights articles 5, 6, 10, and 11)
Kapustin held a one-person picket, and was detained for several hours. National courts did not acknowledge a violation of Kapustin’s right to freedom of expression, as well as his right to protest, his right to liberty, and his right to security of person, and his right to a fair trial. The case has been directed to the ECHR. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/documents/3774.html
Basok v. Russia
In late January 2009, intending to take part in a meeting, the complainant was arrested by law enforcement officers and delivered to the Kirov District Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Yekaterinburg, where he was detained for two and one half hours without any procedural documents being filed. The court declared that the law enforcement officers’ actions were legal. The complainant submitted a complaint to the ECHR, citing Convention articles 5, 6, 10, and 13. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/446.html
A. V. Zakharkin v. Russia
The chairperson of a trade union organization in the city of Surgut held several one-person pickets on the Russian Constitution Day holiday. Law enforcement officers arrested all demonstration participants, including the organizer, and brought administrative charges against him for violating the legally-prescribed picket organization procedure. The complainant submitted a complaint to the ECHR, citing violations of articles 5, 6, 10, 11, 13, and 34 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case presents to the ECHR the main question of the existence of a right to one-person pickets. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/482.html
Defense of the right to freedom of association
Civil suit of the Chief Office of the Ministry of Justice in Sverdlovsk Oblast against the Pravoborets organization, seeking that the organization be declared defunct
The Chief Office of the Ministry of Justice in Sverdlovsk Oblast initiated a civil action demanding that the Pravoborets organization be declared defunct as a legal entity. The chairperson of the Pravoborets organization cited article 11 of the Convention (right to freedom of association), according to which only the presence of very strong grounds can serve as the basis for liquidating an organization. Yekaterinburg city Kirov district court Judge D. S. Ishenin refused to grant the Ministry of Justice’s demand, applying article 11 of the Convention. Case materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cases/430.html
Defense against discrimination
Civil complaints for the defense of a disabled individual’s right to unimpeded access to social infrastructure facilities
The wheelchair-bound Sychev filed eight complaints in court, and two complaints in the public prosecutor’s office over the absence of wheelchair access ramps at the entrances to the courts, public prosecutors’ offices, and law enforcement offices in Yekaterinburg. In his complaints relating to the entrances to the courts in Yekaterinburg, plaintiff claims violation of Convention article 6, part 1, concerning the lack of physical means of access for him to the courts. The plaintiff also cited Convention article 14 (prohibition of discrimination). The courts granted the complainant’s demands. Cases materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/files/59
II. PARTICIPATION IN CONFERENCES, SEMINARS, ROUNDTABLES, ETC.
During the past year, Sutyajnik representatives took part in twenty-three events, including national and international congresses and conferences, roundtables, trainings, seminars, and press conferences.
1.25-26 February 2010 (Moscow). A Sutyajnik lawyer took part in a seminar on issues relating to defense of the right of access to justice.
2.17-18 March 2010. Yekaterinburg. Seminar: “Standards for the Defense of the Rights of the Mentally Ill.” The seminar involved consideration of issues that arise in the defense of the rights of the mentally ill in civil and criminal cases, as well as administrative hearings, including consideration of the guarantees provided by the Convention. Seminar materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cgi-bin/actions.php?action_id=9998
3.20-21 March 2010. Kyiv, Ukraine. International meeting on the issues of strategic judicial defense. Representatives of nongovernmental organizations from Ukraine, Russia (including Sutyazjnik), Armenia, Georgia, and international organizations discussed the main trends in the defense of human rights by initiating and litigating precedent-setting cases in national and international court systems. The Sutyjnik representative presented the tactics of litigating cases with reference to the Convention in national courts.
4.Meetings with journalists and lawyers in Serov involving discussion of application of the European Convention on Human Rights in the courts for the defense of clients.
5.Meeting between Sutyajnik lawyers and representatives of the Tyumen Oblast Trade Union Center organization, who had come to Yekaterinburg to discuss tactics of applying the European Convention on Human Rights in the courts in defense the rights of trade union members.
6.Meetings between the president of Sutyajnik with trade union and human rights organizations and lawyers on the issue of using the European Convention on Human Rights in litigating civil and criminal cases (Saint Petersburg).
7.26 March 2010. Yekaterinburg. Seminar: “Using the Provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights in Defense of the Interests of Natural Persons and Legal Entities.” Participants: Sverdlovsk Oblast Ombudsman for Human Rights, deputies of the Oblast Duma of the Legislative Assembly of Sverdlovsk Oblast, entrepreneurs, private practice lawyers, bar association representatives, human rights activists, and journalists. Special attention was paid to the principle of applying the Convention with account for ECHR case law, the principle of an independent and impartial judiciary, the right to a fair trial, access to justice (article 6 of the Convention). Seminar materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cgi-bin/actions.php?action_id=10000
8.12-13 May 2010. Moscow. Participation in the work meeting “Nonprofit Organizations and Strategic Legal Defense.”
9.8 June 2010. Saint Petersburg. In the Prince P. G. Oldenburgsky Saint Petersburg Institute of Law, a formal discussion was held under the heading “Applying the European Convention on Human Rights in Russian Courts,” at which a Sutyajnik lawyer discussed with participants the effectiveness of implementing the Convention in national courts. Participants included lawyers and lecturers from law schools. Discussion materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cgi-bin/actions.php?action_id=10008
10.10-12 June 2010. Vilnius, Lithuania. A Sutyajnik representative took part in the Fourth Regional Congress of Nongovernmental Organizations: “The Role of Nongovernmental Organizations in a Pluralistic Democracy.” Congress materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cgi-bin/actions.php?action_id=10006
11.24 June 2010. Yekaterinburg, Oblast Duma of the Legislative Assembly of Sverdlovsk Oblast. Roundtable: “Access to Justice through Access to Information on the Actions of Courts.” Organizers: Sutyajnik, acting under the aegis of the Oblast Duma and the Sverdlovsk Oblast Ombudsman for Human Rights. The roundtable included discussion of the entry into legal force of Convention Protocol 14, directed at reforming the ECHR, and courts’ preparedness for the entry into legal force on 1 July 2010 of Federal Law “On Provision of Access to Information on the Actions of Courts in the Russian Federation,” directed at increasing the openness and accessibility of justice (article 6 of the Convention). Roundtable materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cgi-bin/actions.php?action_id=10009
12.6 July 2010. Yekaterinburg. Internet press conference featuring the participation of Olga Yurievna Zavialova, the mother of a schoolboy who was shot by a law enforcement officer in the village of Verkh-Neyvinsk during a celebration of the anniversary of the creation of the State Traffic Safety Inspectorate. Press conference materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cgi-bin/actions.php?action_id=10011. Upon completion of the press conference, a lawsuit was initiated seeking application of civil and criminal liability to the law enforcement officer.
13.22 July 2010. Yekaterinburg. Roundtable: “Compensation for Untimely Resolution of Lawsuits as a Filter for Complaints to the European Court of Human Rights.” The roundtable’s organizers included Sutyazhnik, acting under the aegis of the Oblast Duma and the Sverdlovsk Oblast Ombudsman for Human Rights. Discussion concerned Federal Law “On Compensation for Violation of the Right to a Timely Trial or the Right to Timely Performance of a Judicial Act.” Roundtable materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cgi-bin/actions.php?action_id=10012
14.24 July 2010 - 2 August 2011. Moscow. Third Summer School on Human Rights: http://sutyajnik.ru/cgi-bin/actions.php?action_id=10013
15.26-31 July 2010. Stockholm, Sweden. VIII World Congress of the International Council for Central and East European Studies: “Prospects for Wider Cooperation.” Presentation by Sutyajnik representative during the panel “The Impact of the European Court of Human Rights on Russia's Judiciary” on the practice of applying the Convention in Russian courts. Presentation materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cgi-bin/actions.php?action_id=9999
16.16 August 2010. Yekaterinburg. Roundtable for attorney employees of the Lev law firm. Discussion concerned Convention provisions relating to defense of the rights of legal entities. Presentation materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cgi-bin/actions.php?action_id=10019
17.18-20 September 2010. Vilnius, Lithuania. International conference: “Human Rights: Between Rights and Morals.” The chairman of Sutyazhnik gave a presentation on the practice of litigating cases in Russian courts using the guarantees of the Convention. Presentation materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cgi-bin/actions.php?action_id=10020
18.21 September 2010. Yekaterinburg. Oblast Duma of the Legislative Assembly of Sverdlovsk Oblast. Roundtable: “International Standards for Fighting Human Trafficking: the Russian Experience.” The roundtable was scheduled to coincide with the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe considering the issue of Russia complying with the ECHR decision on the case Rantsev v. Cyprus and Russia on 15 September 2010, in which the complainant was represented by Sutyajnik lawyers. Upon conclusion of the roundtable, a resolution was adopted constituting an appeal to the Russian President and the Federal Assembly of Russia on the necessity of Russia ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. Roundtable materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cgi-bin/actions.php?action_id=10022
19.23-24 September 2010. Perm. Sutyazhnik lawyers conducted a two-day seminar under the headings “Preparing a Complaint to the European Court” and “Legal Positions of the European Court on Issues of Access to Justice” for lawyers, including judges, in the city of Perm. The seminar was organized by the Institute of Law and Public Policy. Event materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/documents/3638.html
20.21 October 2010. Strasbourg, France. Meeting of European Court of Human Rights employees with representatives of nongovernmental organizations (including Sutyazhnik) and representatives of complainants. The meeting was dedicated to discussion of practical aspects of submitting complaints and litigating cases in the European Court of Human Rights, and exchange of opinions on various problems which the ECHR encounters. Meeting materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cgi-bin/actions.php?action_id=10018
21.6 November 2010. Yekaterinburg. Ural Federal University. Conference: “From the European Convention on Human Rights to the European Social Charter.” Sutyajnik lawyers gave reports on applying Convention principles in court cases. Conference materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cgi-bin/actions.php?action_id=10030
22.3 December 2010. Yekaterinburg. University of the Humanities. Conference: “The European Convention on Human Rights in Russian Courts: the Problem of Training Personnel.” Organizers: University of the Humanities, Sutyajnik, Office of the Sverdlovsk Oblast Ombudsman for Human Rights. Conference materials: http://sutyajnik.ru/cgi-bin/actions.php?action_id=10032
23.30 November - 5 December 2010. Yekaterinburg. International forum: “Justice Week in the Urals.” Sutyazhnik lawyers took part in Forum events (http://www.legalfirms.ru/events/view/87/#program) relating to the subject of the European Convention on Human Rights and its application in Russia.
Each of the events described above was accompanied by distribution, free of charge, to participants of literature on the Convention and the ECHR prepared by Sutyajnik (http://sutyajnik.ru/rus/library). Materials for all events are published on the site: http://sutyajnik.ru/cgi-bin/actions.php
III PUBLICATION OF BOOKS AND ARTICLES RELATED TO THE PROJECT TOPIC
1.Burkov, A. L. The European Convention on Human Rights in Russian Courts. Moscow: Wolters Kluwer, 2010.
Thirty-five articles published in legal journals, including:
1.Monthly column by A. L. Burkov on the website EU-Russia Centre http://eu-russiacentre.ru/our-publications/column/motivaciya-dlya-neposredstvennogo-primeneniya-konvencii-o-zashhite-prav-cheloveka-i-osnovnyx-svobod.html
2.Burkov, A. L., “Vospriyatie Konventsii o zaschite prav cheloveka i osnovnykh svobod Verkhovnym Sudom RF v postanovleniyakh Plenuma i pri rassmotrenii konkretnykh del” (“Perception of the European Convention on Human Rights by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation in Plenum Resolutions and in Hearing of Specific Cases”), Rossiyskiy Yuridicheskiy Zhurnal, No. 5, 2010. http://sutyajnik.ru/articles/392.html
3.Bakhrakh, D. N., Burkov, A. L., “Konventsiya o zaschite prav cheloveka i osnovnyh svobod v rossiyskom zakonodatel'stve i praktike rassmotreniya administrativnykh del” (“The European Convention on Human Rights in Russian Legislation and the Practice of Hearing Administrative Cases”), Zhurnal Rossiyskogo Prava, No. 6, 2010. http://sutyajnik.ru/articles/374.html
4.Churkina, L. M., “Rol' printsipa dobrosovestnogo vypolneniya mezhdunarodnykh obyazatel'stv v protsesse kontrolya ikh soblyudeniya” (“The Role of the Principle of Conscientious Performance of International Obligations in the Process of Enforcement”), Sovremennoye Pravo, No. 7, 2010. http://sutyajnik.ru/articles/381.html
5.Desrosiers, Isabelle, “Progress v realizatsii prava na individual'nuyu zhalobu v YeSPCh dlya rossiyskikh grazhdan, nakhodyaschikhsya v ispravitel'nykh uchrezhdeniyakh: Zakharkin protiv Rossii” (“Progress in Enforcing the Right to Submit Individual Complaints to the ECHR for Russian Citizens Located in Correctional Facilities: Zakharkin v. Russia”), EHRAC Bulletin 2010. 2(7). pp. 13-14. http://sutyajnik.ru/articles/396.html
6.Pitilimov, M. V. “Den'gi za poteryannoye vremya” (“Money for Lost Time”), Gazeta Ezh-YURIST, No. 25, 2010. http://sutyajnik.ru/articles/375.html
Sutyajnik’s website contains a selection of news articles and other materials on the subject of the project “Applying the European Convention on Human Rights in the Courts.” This selection of documents collects materials containing descriptions of cases of application or refusal to apply the Convention and ECHR case law in the decisions of Russian courts. http://sutyajnik.ru/files/16 Audio: http://sutyajnik.ru/audio and video http://sutyajnik.ru/video/archive.html podcasts on project materials are also published.
28 February 2011
President of Sutyajnik S. I. Belyayev
Translation of this report was made by a volunteer David Rubin