sets a record for the number of lawsuits filed at Strasbourg Court.
Russia has set a new record on the number of lawsuits filed at
the Strasbourg-based European Court for Human Rights. Russian
people start perceiving the European justice as the only instance,
which can help them establish truth. However, the Russian administration
gives quite a hostile reception to decisions of the Swiss court
and criticizes it for its biased attitude to Russia.
of the European Court for Human Rights, Luzius Wildhaber, says
that many say that the court makes political decisions. "This
does not surprise us much, because when the court pays a country's
attention to a certain violation of the Convention of Human Rights,
it is perceived as an insult. This is a normal phenomenon, Russia
is not the only state in the world, which has such a reaction.
We hope that national courts will adjust themselves to the standards
of European justice," Mr. Wildhaber said.
rule, politicians do not put pressure on judges, but the government
of this or that country may set out their protests against certain
lawsuits in public. As for me, I have had such an experience during
eight years of my chairmanship at the court, when they were trying
to tell me what I was supposed to do, but I strongly rejected
all of such recommendations. We are an independent court, and
I will not tolerate any pressure at this point. It is worthy of
note that malcontent governments may often refuse to nominate
candidacies for reelection, which we interpret as a circumstantial
form of bringing pressure upon the court," Luzius Wildhaber
rule, a state government usually presents us the list of three
candidates, each of them needs to have equal chances. Some countries
practice the procedure of interviews. After that the government
submits the list of candidates to the council of ministers, and
the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe makes the
final choice. The PACE studies the biography of each and every
candidate, conducts a 20-minute interview with all of them and
then picks one of the three. As you can see, it is the parliament,
which appoints the judges for the Strasbourg court," Mr.
European Court for Human Rights usually awards financial compensations
or the recovery of moral damages in the event the court establishes
a certain violation of the Human Rights Convention. All states
pay the compensations, although it may take a certain state a
longer period of time to make the adequate payment. As far as
I know, Russia pays this money regularly. However, the court may
expose certain drawbacks of the legal system of a state, which
gives an impetus to this country's government to amend its legislation.
Russia has repeatedly introduced such changes following our recommendations.
We receive many of the so-called Chechen lawsuits from Russia.
A lot of Chechen citizens do not have a possibility to access
the courts, and we recommended the government to correct the situation.
chairman of the European Court for Human Rights does not have
the veto right. No judge in any international court has a right
to veto the decisions of inferior courts. As the presiding judge
at the Strasbourg court, I am responsible for the organization
of legal procedures. I also preside at many court hearings, including
the hearings of all lawsuits filed against the government of Switzerland.
I periodically have meetings with presidents and prime ministers
of many countries, who need to talk to me in person. This is more
of a representative role. I act as one of the 45 judges of the
the leading state on the list of countries, which addressed to
the European Court for Human Rights in 2005. Russian citizens
have filed 6,558 lawsuits as of the end of September of 2005.
Poland follows with 3,800 lawsuits, Romania with 3,000 and France
with 2,200 lawsuits.
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