A Warning Sign

A series of skirmishes between the Constitutional Court of Russia and the European Court of Human Rights, such as those surrounding the Markin case, has gained critical mass and now risks developing into a fully-fledged war.

Senator Aleksandr Torshin submitted a draft law to Parliament, seeking to diminish the impact of the ECHR’s decisions. According to the bill, any Russian legal act which the ECHR found in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights will have to undergo additional checks by the Constitutional Court of Russia. Only then can a court’s decision on criminal or civil case based on this law be reconsidered. Essentially this means that the ECHR’s decisions will have no legal force of their own.

RussianLawOnline.Com believes that this proposal is too radical, too provocative and too far-reaching to become law. This might be the end of Russia’s membership in the Council of Europe. Mr Aleksandr Torshin is probably just testing the water to see how far the ECHR will go when confronted. It is also a demonstration that not all ECHR’s decisions - the Khodorkovsky case immediately springs to mind - will be welcome.