The Assembly’s appeasement towards Russia

By Lize R. Glas, assistant professor of European Law, Radboud University

Slightly less than a year ago, I wrote a blog titled ‘The Assembly’s row with Russia and its repercussions for the Convention system’ on Strasbourg Observers. In that blog, I described that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Assembly) decided, in April 2014, to suspend the voting rights of the Russian delegation in reaction to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The Assembly prolonged this sanction in 2015 and decided to suspend other rights of the delegation as well, such as the right to become a rapporteur. In response, Russia did not submit the credentials of the Russian delegation to the Assembly, meaning that this delegation could not contribute to the Assembly’s work. A former Russian Assembly member explained that Russia would only return if the Assembly would reverse its decisions. Russian has also responded by withholding its payments to the Council of Europe (CoE) in 2017 and 2018.

The title of the current blog is markedly different from that of my previous blog, because the Assembly will vote on a resolution that may make it possible for Russia to regain its rights, without giving in to the Assembly’s requests. This vote will take place on 9 October 2018. The current blog explains why and how this resolution has come into being and whether the resolution is a sign of the Assembly’s appeasement towards Russia. Continue reading

Implementation of ECtHR judgments – What do the latest statistics tell us?

By Lucy Moxham, Associate Senior Research Fellow at the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law

In April 2018, the Committee of Ministers (the regional body responsible for supervising the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights) published its 11th Annual Report. The Committee’s Annual Report 2017 is available in full here. This post highlights some of the headline statistics in the Report and what they tell us about the overall state of play with respect to the implementation of the Court’s judgments. A closer look reveals several areas for concern behind some of the positive statistics. Continue reading

The Assembly’s row with Russia and its repercussions for the Convention system

By Lize R. Glas, assistant professor of European Law, Radboud University

In early 2014, Russia seized the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. The annexation has had grave humanitarian consequences and has set in motion a chain of events that is likely to affect the European Convention on Human Rights (Convention) system. The most direct effect is extra pressure on the European Court of Human Rights (Court). Already in July 2016, about 3,000 applications relating to the annexation and the hostilities in Eastern Ukraine were pending before it. Many applications moreover include a request for interim measures. Additionally, Ukraine has brought no less than three inter-state cases against Russia. Another clearly visible effect concerns the applicability of the Convention: Ukraine has declared a state of emergency under Article 15 ECHR, so it can take measures derogating from most Convention rights. Other consequences are less direct or visible; they are the repercussions of a decision of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Assembly). The Assembly took this decision in order to denounce Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

In this blog, I discuss that decision and its (potential) repercussions for the Convention system.  Continue reading