... the Council of Europe for Human Rights Protection in Ukraine
Alongside the creation of four special prizes by the Royal Academy of Belgium, the Collège Belgique wishes to support Ukrainian and dissident Russian scholars through the organization of remunerated online conferences, in order to allow them to carry on their research activities. ⬇️
These lectures were organised online in June 2022, according to the organizational framework in place at the Collège Belgique.
"In the last two decades, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has become an important mechanism for human rights protection in Ukraine. The Strasbourg system has allowed otherwise helpless individuals to obtain redress for the violation of their rights and freedoms by the state. Through its jurisprudence the ECtHR has also galvanized various domestic reforms that brought Ukraine’s legal system closer to the standards of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The adoption of the new Code of Criminal Procedure in 2012 is just one such example.
The ECHR was also one of the first international judicial bodies Ukraine turned to for the protection of rights and freedoms of its residents in the wake of the Russia’s annexation of Crimea and use of force in Donbas in 2014 and, more recently, of Russia’s full-scale aggression in February 2022.
In February 2022, Ukraine lodged its 10th application against Russia before the ECtHR. At least 8000 individual applications are now pending before the ECtHR in connection with Russia’s occupation of and use of force on Ukrainian territory. There are, however, two recent developments that may significantly affect the ability of the ECHR system to protect effectively individual rights and freedoms violated during the Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The first one is ECtHR’s jurisprudence, in particular the judgment in the case of Georgia v Russia (II), excluding extraterritorial application of the Convention to the phase of active hostilities. The second one is Russia’s exclusion from the Council of Europe on 16 March 2022. This lecture examines the implications of these two developments for human rights protection in Ukraine.
First, this lecture provides an overview of cases pending between Ukraine and Russia before the ECtHR and discusses the application of the ECHR to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, in particular since 24 February 2022 in view of the Court’s recent jurisprudence on the extraterritorial application of the ECHR. Second, it examines the consequences of Russia’s exclusion from the Council of Europe on Russia’s obligations under the Convention. Third, it proceeds with discussion of practical consequences of Russia’s exclusion from the Council of Europe on examination of cases and enforcement of judgments delivered by ECtHR. Finally, it concludes with a brief overview of other avenues available for protection of human rights violated by Russia’s military actions in Ukraine.
1. Marco Milanovic, The Russian-Ukraine war and the European Convention on Human Rights, Articles of War Blog (1 March 2022) available at https://lieber.westpoint.edu/russia-ukraine-war-european-convention-human-rights/
2. Philip Leach, A Time of Reckoning? Russia and the Council of Europe, Strasbourg Observer Blog (17 March 2022), available at https://strasbourgobservers.com/2022/03/17/a-time-of-reckoning-russia-and-the-council-of-europe/
3. Resolution CM/Res(2022)2 on the cessation of the membership of the Russian Federation to the Council of Europe (16 March 2022), available at https://search.coe.int/cm/Pages/result_details.aspx?ObjectID=0900001680a5da51
4. Resolution of the European Court of Human Rights on the consequences of the cessation of membership of the Russian Federation to the Council of Europe in light of Article 58 of the European Convention on Human Rights (22 March 2022), available at https://echr.coe.int/Documents/Resolution_ECHR_cessation_membership_Russia_CoE_ENG.pdf
5. Ukraine v Russia (Re Crimea), app nos. 20958/14 and 38334/18, decision of 16 December 2020
6. Georgia v Russia (II), app no. 38263/08, judgment of 21 January 2021
7. Carter v Russia, app 20914/07, judgment of 21 September 2021
8. Dzehtsiarou, K. (2021). Georgia v. Russia (II). American Journal of International Law, 115(2), 288-294. doi:10.1017/ajil.2021.7