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4.1. National and International Remedies for Human Rights Violations

Wednesday, May 15
15:00 - 17:30

Amphitheatre, General Staff Building (6-8, Dvortsovaya sq.)

Special international procedures for human rights protection that appeared in the second half of the 20th century, provided for claims consideration by judicial and quasi-judicial bodies out of the legal systems of separate jurisdictions. Such remedies include reference of cases to different regional human rights courts (European, African, Inter-American), the UN contractual bodies (e.g. Human Rights Committee, Committee Against torture, etc.).

The European Court of Human Rights is, surely, the most relevant for European countries. In 1998, the Russian Federation joined the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and, therefore, voluntarily undertook all the commitments pursuant to the Convention and accepted the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights.

Pursuant to the spirit of the Convention, the parties thereto are committed to provide for human rights and freedoms to be ensured and protected, first of all, at the national level, and for the conventional protection to become extraordinary, as it was contemplated.

Such approach has already provided for the resolution of serious systemic issues in legal systems of the member states of the Council of Europe that used to be the reason for numerous applications to the Court of Europe, including: too long terms of enforcement of national courts’ decisions, red tape upon civil and criminal cases consideration in national courts, violation of the legal certainty principle, etc.

The call for national remedies development puts forward the question what instances should be passed at the national level. The session will cover, inter alia, the determination of national remedies exhaustability before applying to international authorities, more active involvement of supreme national courts as a mandatory instance before applying to supranational remedies, and the general prospects of development of cooperation between national and international courts.

The session will cover, inter alia, the determination of national remedies exhaustability before applying to international authorities, as well as how to implement legal protection accessibility and efficiency criteria developed by the European Court of Human Rights and national courts on the country level. The discussion is expected to put forward new practical approaches in order to promote cooperation between national and international courts, providing attorneys, corporate lawyers, judges, administrative and law enforcement authorities, and other dedicated professionals with a deeper insight into legal options embedded in human rights framework, thus reinforcing mechanisms to protect the rights of individuals and legal entities.

Top officials of the Council of Europe, Russian and international courts, judges of the European Court of Human Rights, representatives of Russian authorities and civil institutions, luminary Russian and international experts are expected to attend the session.


Questions for discussion:

  1. Considering the vital role of national authorities in protecting human rights and establishing efficient legal protection mechanisms and European Court of Human Rights being subsidiary to national systems, what criteria shall be satisfied to claim full exhaustion of domestic remedies?
  2. Like the European Court of Human Rights, many national constitutional courts provide definitions of human rights terms, formulated in relevant constitutions and international treaties. On top that, constitutional courts assess the efficiency of national legislation to protect individual and collective rights in conformity with the human rights framework. Who is more qualified to conclude that the litigant has exhausted all the remedies in a particular court, national judges who are ‘in the center of the activity’ or judges of the international court? 
  3. In what cases may the European Court of Human Rights disagree with the ruling of national supreme courts (including constitutional courts) with respect to efficiency and accessibility of a particular protection measure, as well as its exhaustibility for a particular case or type of cases?
  4. What parameters indicate that national procedures and measures to safeguard human rights are indeed accessible and efficient according to European experience? Is it possible to arrive at a concerted decision on this issue?
  5. Does the type of dispute – be it a civil, commercial, administrative, criminal, etc. case – affect efficiency, accessibility, and exhaustive potential of protection measures? If yes, in what way?
  6. What else should be introduced into the procedural rules governing cooperation between national and international courts in order to promote future dialog between courts by developing mutually acceptable approaches and thus avoiding any confrontations whatsoever?

The Session Programme is available following the link.

Welcome Speech

Mikhail Galperin

Representative of the Russian Federation in the European Court of Human Rights - Deputy Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation


Andrey Bushev

Judge Ad Hoc of the European Court of Human Rights, Associate Professor of Business Law Department of the St. Petersburg State University


Nikolay Bondar

Judge, Сonstitutional Court of the Russian Federation

Candido Conde-Pumpido

Magistrate, Constitutional Court of Spain

Mikhail Fedotov

Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation, Chairman of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights

Zerrin Gungor

President, Council of State of Turkey

Aleksey Ispolinov

Head of the Department of International Law, Lomonosov Moscow State University

Andreja Katic

Minister of Justice of Slovenia

Anatoliy Kovler

Head of the Center for foreign legislation and comparative law, Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation

Iulia Motoc

Judge, European Court of Human Rights

Tatyana Petrova

Deputy Chief Justice, Supreme Court of the Russian Federation

Christophe Poirel

Director of the Directorate of Human Rights, Council of Europe

* The Programme may be subject to change