10 years ago Russia joined the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms


05 May 2008

    Today, on May 5, 2008 it has been ten years since the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms came into force on the territory of the Russian Federation.   By joining the Council of Europe and ratifying the European Convention on Human Rights on May 5, 2008, Russia  has adopted the European system for human rights protection and recognized the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights to try individual, collective and interstate complaints connected with human rights violations.

Now, ten years later, we can speak about the role of the European Convention in establishing the human rights protection system in Russia. Of course, the European Convention is a treaty of unexampled effectiveness, and the European Court is one of the few efficient mechanisms to ensure that the parties to the Convention perform their obligations. However, complying with the Convention provisions is still a most serious problem in

Russia. At present the majority of complaints about human rights violations comes from Russia, and this is caused not by the size of the state but, primarily, by the reluctance of state authorities to guarantee and protect human rights on the national level. Right now, judging by applications coming from Russia, among the most recalled articles of the Convention there are article 3 (prohibition of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment), article 5 (right to liberty and security of person), article 6 (right to a fair trial), and article 1 of Protocol 1 (protection of property). There are several hundreds of judgments against Russia and in most cases violations of several articles are found.  Unfortunately, the existing situation has not yet encouraged the Russian government to pay more attention to protection of human rights by state representatives: e.g., practice of the Committee against torture shows that number of established facts of torture does not decrease and the investigation of torture application remains ineffective and non-professional. Such development lowers the confidence level of the European community towards Russia Тas a democratic and constitutional state.

At the present stage state bodies, educational institutions and NGOs should do their best to implement the norms and ideas of the European Convention on the national level. For several years the Committee against Torture had actively cooperated with the Nizhny Novgorod regional court, Nizhny Novgorod State University, Irkutsk State University, Nizhny Novgorod chamber of lawyers, Departments of Internal Affairs of several regions, this allows the Committee against Torture to organize seminars, lectures and practical trainings on law and practice of the European Court of Human Rights. We have already witnessed the positive results of this cooperation and we hope that it will continue and be an example for professional development of lawyers in other RF regions.   

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