Decisions of the European Court of Human Rights may no longer be grounds for review by the courts in Russia

17 June 2013 

Source: (info)
Not all judgments of the European Court of Human Rights that establish there have been violations of human rights are grounds for a new review of the case by Russian courts. Vedomosti reports that a draft resolution of the plenum of the Supreme Court, presented at a meeting of the Supreme Court on Friday, contains a proposal to this effect.

The draft resolution of the plenum states that a new review is necessary where procedural violations call into question the outcome of the case (for example, if a court refused to interrogate a material witness), or the applicant continues to suffer adverse consequences from a judicial decision (for example, remains in prison) and the compensation paid on the orders of the European Court of Human Rights did not provide redress for the violations.

But if the European Court of Human Rights found a violation in a court’s decision to extend a period of pre-trial detention, which expired long ago, it would not make any sense to annul such a ruling, said the Supreme Court's rapporteur Judge Nikolai Timoshin: "This term in detention would have been taken into account in the sentence served by the individual in question, compensation was paid, and the applicant does not himself demand a fresh review by the courts, so what would be the sense of it?" 

Timoshin did not rule out that such an approach could be grounds for legislative changes. Currently, the law recognizes any judgment by the European Court of Human Rights that finds a violation in decisions of the criminal courts to constitute a "new fact," that is, unconditional grounds for a new investigation into a case," reported.

Henceforth, however, the basis for the review of a court decision in a criminal case may become not only a judgment of the European Court of Human Rights establishing a violation of human rights, but also an out of court settlement made with the applicant. Now decisions in such cases can be annulled by a process of judicial review, which will make more complicated the process of agreeing an out of court settlement, the judge pointed out.