Teetering on the Edge of Legal Nihilism: Russia and the Evolving European Human Rights Regime
Human Rights Quarterly (2015, Forthcoming)
77 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2013 Last revised: 28 Feb 2015
Date Written: May 31, 2013
In 2013, Russia’s human rights record remains one of the poorest among the members of the Council of Europe. A painstakingly sluggish compliance with international human rights obligations and several recent incidents of the crackdown on civil society since Putin’s return to the presidency, as demonstrated by a series of restrictive laws, harassment, and intimidation of political prisoners, interference in the work of non-governmental organizations and a notorious prosecution of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, cast further doubt on the Kremlin’s genuine commitment to perform its obligations under the Convention. This essay in Part I maps out the place of the ECHR in Russian law and practice, highlighting the most important hurdles to smoother relations between Russia and the ECtHR as well as to fuller enjoyment of Convention rights by individuals in the country. Part II considers the current round of proposed reforms of the European human rights regime as embodied in the 2012 Brighton Declaration, with particular attention to the relevance of such reforms for Russia in view of the elements highlighted in Part I.
Keywords: Human Rights, Russia, Council of Europe, Court, Strasbourg
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