Yesterday, on 4 February 2010, president of the Russian Federation Dmitry A. Medvedev signed a Federal Law on the Ratification of protocol 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, according to the President’s official website.
The official news report says, “The Federal Law ratifies Protocol 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms amending the control mechanism of the Convention adopted on 1 May 2004.
The Protocol was signed by the Russian Federation in Strasbourg on May 4, 2006.
The Protocol is designed to improve the efficiency of the European Court of Human Rights in light of the sharp increase in the number of complaints following new countries joining the Council of Europe.
Changes envisaged by the Protocol include improving the mechanism for filtering out obviously unacceptable complaints, introducing additional criteria for the admissibility of complaints, increasing the terms of office of the judges of the European Court of Human Rights, and creating the legal framework for having the European Union join the Convention on Human Rights.”
The Interregional Committee against Torture supports this decision. It should be noted that for a long period of time the Russian Federation was the only country out of 47 Council of Europe member states refusing to ratify the document. The protocol could not enter into force because it required ratification by all states-parties to the Convention. This has dramatically delayed the reform of the ECtHR that for several years has been overloaded with applications the majority of which came from Russia.
According to the new protocol, the ECtHR case flow procedure will be optimized in order to decrease the adjudication period, however, this is not going to affect the quality and justness of ECtHR judgments.