Russia Files the Most Complaints to International Rights Court

European Court of Human Rights.  Source: garant.ruRussia is the number one country for the number of complaints filed to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. As the RBK Daily newspaper reports on May 15th, these conclusions were reported at a conference marking 10 years since Russia ratified the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Anatoly Kovler, the Russian judge in the court, said that a total of 20,300 cases against Russia were currently pending before the court, which represents some 26% of the court’s entire caseload. Some 1500 have currently reached the consideration stage. Kovler added than more than half of all the cases dealt with Article 6 of the Human Rights Convention, the right to a fair trial.

Over the past 10 years, a sum of 46,685 lawsuits originating in Russia were submitted to the court, representing 20% of all cases sent to the human rights institution. “This is proportional to the share of Russia’s population, and consequently we can’t say that the European court is swamped with complaints from our country,” Kovler explained.

Russia does not have a good record of success before the court. Notably, the Strasbourg court has issued a large deal of condemnations of Russia’s actions in Chechnya, and has found Russia guilty of a myriad crimes in the separatist republic.

In 2007, the court ruled in Russia’s favor only six times, compared with 192 times against. As result of those rulings, the court deemed that more than two million euro must be paid out to complainants from Russia. Around 700 thousand of this figure serves as compensation for unfounded arrests and detentions.

The time spent following Russian cases does not come cheaply for the court. As result, the European Commission and the Council of Europe have aired their intention to institute educational programs for Russian judges, prosecutors, militsiya officers, attorneys and human rights activists. The groups believe that this will cost significantly less than bringing a large deal of cases before the court, and hope the move will reduce the number of lawsuits regarding the poor work done by Russian civil servants in the system of law.