14 JURIDICA INTERNATIONAL 24/2016
University of Tartu
Enforcing the Judgments
of the ECtHR in Russia in Light
of the Amendments to the Law
on the Constitutional Court
This article discusses problems related to implementing the judgments of the European Court of Human
Rights (ECtHR) in Russia. Although the contracting parties are obliged to execute the judgments of the
ECtHR and are required to take all measures necessary to advance implementation*1, there are serious prob-
lems with enforcing the judgments in several member states. The binding role of the ECtHR’s judgments ‘is
subject to doubts and questioning and, occasionally, an outright rejection’*2. Russia is one of nine countries
highlighted in the report of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (the PACE report) on
implementing the judgments of the ECtHR as having the highest number of non-implemented judgments.*3
As many as 1,474 cases were waiting for execution in Russia as of the beginning of 2015*4, and it takes, on
average, 9.7 years to implement a judgment of the ECtHR in Russia.*5 Russia has a ‘long list of outstanding
issues concerning implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, most of which
concern particularly serious human rights violations’, according to the PACE report.*6 Several structural
problems contribute to the high number of Russian cases discussed by the ECtHR and the unsatis factory
implementation of judgments. These include non-enforcement of domestic judicial decisions, violation of
the principle of legal certainty, a ‘supervisory review procedure’ () that allows reopening of the ﬁ nal
and enforceable judgments, poor conditions in detention on remand, torture and ill treatment in police cus-
tody, the actions of the security forces in the North Caucasus, various violations related to secret extradition
Қ See the Parliamentary Assembly’s report ‘Implementation of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights’, doc.
ҚҜҡҟҝ, Ң.Ң.қҙҚҞ, para. ҞҜ. Available at http://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/XRef/Xref-DocDetails-EN.asp?ﬁ leid=ққҙҙҞ (most
recently accessed on Қ.Ҡ.қҙҚҟ).
қ W. Sadurski. Partnering with Strasbourg: Constitutionalisation of the European Court of Human Rights, the accession of
Central and East European States to the Council of Europe, and the idea of pilot judgments. – Human Rights Law Review
қҙҙҢ (Ң) / Ҝ, p. ҝҙҞ.
Ҝ Other countries include Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Turkey, and Ukraine. For further information,
see the PACE report (Note Қ), p. Ҝ.
ҝ According to the data of the Committee of Ministers report ‘Supervision of the execution of judgments of the European Court
of Human Rights – Annual Report қҙҚҝ’, the countries with the largest numbers of unimplemented ECtHR judgments are
Italy (қ,ҟққ cases), Turkey (Қ,Ҟҙҙ cases), and the Russian Federation (Қ,ҝҠҝ cases).
Ҟ PACE report (see Note Қ), para. ҜҚ.
ҟ Ibid., para. ҚҠ.