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