The Use of the OSCE Moscow Mechanism and its Potential

10 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2021

See all articles by Wolfgang Benedek

Wolfgang Benedek

University of Graz - Faculty of Law

Date Written: November 26, 2021


The contribution provides an overview of the legal requirements and recent practice of the use of the Moscow Mechanism of OSCE which allows a group of OSCE participating states to have particularly serious threats to the OSCE human dimension investigated by an independent expert without having to reach the generally necessary consensus. Created in 1991 this tool has recently been used in the cases of repression against LGBTI people in the Chechen Republic and serious human rights violations and election fraud in Belarus. Based on his personal experience the author explains the challenges of such missions in particular in the absence of the cooperation of the state investigated and identifies the advantages and disadvantages of the present rules and then develops some suggestions for strengthening the Moscow Mechanism to make better use of its potential.

Keywords: Moscow Mechanism, OSCE, Chechen Republic, Belarus, LGBTI, impunity, accountability, human rights

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Benedek, Wolfgang, The Use of the OSCE Moscow Mechanism and its Potential (November 26, 2021). Graz Law Working Paper No 22-2021, Available at SSRN: or

Wolfgang Benedek (Contact Author)

University of Graz - Faculty of Law ( email )


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