EHRAC Achievements: 2003 to present

EHRAC was founded in 2003 to litigate cases of gross human rights violations arising out of the Chechen conflict in Russia at the European Court of Human Rights, in partnership with Memorial Human Rights Centre. Since then, we’ve grown our activities to cover the South Caucasus and Ukraine, challenging grave violations arising out of other conflicts in the post-Soviet space. We stand alongside victims of a wide range of human rights violations, from repressions against civil society to discrimination against marginalised groups, partnering with leading NGOs to build the capacity of dozens of talented lawyers and passionate activists from the region.

Scroll through the timeline below to find out more about our achievements – you can jump to a specific date using the arrow on your right, or filter the results using the icons below to view our milestones, litigation and capacity building highlights, and awards.


  • 06/06/2018

    Justice for 650 people

    As we celebrate our 15th anniversary, we also reach the milestone of our 150th successful judgment, including the first ever CEDAW case from Georgia and ten settlements from the governments admitting that state officials were responsible for human rights violations.

  • 09/04/2018


    EHRAC submits a response to the consultation by the European Court of Human Rights about state authorities’ non-disclosure of documents on the basis that they are ‘classified’ or otherwise confidential, or when the authorities claim not to have certain documents in the first place.

  • 16/03/2018

    Ill treatment and detention

    EHRAC and a team of Azerbaijani lawyers are advising those arrested during and after the Nardaran raids, in preparation for proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights.

  • 08/03/2018


    EHRAC team & partners at this year's Legal Skills Development Programme in Strasbourg

    To celebrate International Women’s Day, we asked 8 of the inspirational women we work with – our partners, clients, our former interns – to talk about how they #PressForProgress.

  • 01/03/2018

    Disproportionate use of force

    Four of the families of those who died on 1 March 2008 tell their stories, asking what happened to their loved ones that day and how the lack of answers to this basic question has affected their lives.

  • 26/02/2018

    Training resource

    EHRAC publishes an explainer on this unprecedented decision by the Committee of Ministers, what is means, and why it is significant that they have been initiated against Azerbaijan.

  • 16/02/2018

    Employee safety in state-owned entreprise

    EHRAC and Memorial Human Rights Centre (Moscow) are representing five of the victims’ families before the European Court of Human Rights as they seek to hold the Russian authorities responsible for the deaths of their relatives.

  • 06/02/2018

    Independence of the judiciary

    Judge Volkov is awarded approximately €41,000 in compensation as part of the Ukrainian Government’s friendly settlement of the European Court case concerning his unfair dismissal from the Ukrainian Supreme Court in 2010.

  • 23/01/2018

    Failure to investigate

    EHRAC and GYLA request that the European Court re-examine four police and prison abuse cases, two years after the Georgian Government admits to breaching the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), but fails to investigate the events that led to these violations.

  • 09/01/2018

    Armed conflict

    The European Court seeks responses from the Ukrainian and Russian Governments about what happened to four people whom we represent with UHHRU, when they were detained by armed ‘separatists’ in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

  • 09/01/2018

    North Caucasus

    EHRAC, Memorial Human Rights Centre (Moscow) and the Stichting Justice Initiative (Moscow) make a General Allegation about Russia’s persistent failure to investigate disappearances in the North Caucasus to the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.

  • 01/01/2018


    EHRAC and the Regional Centre for Human Rights (Kyiv, formerly based in Sevastopol) launch a two-year project aimed at protecting and defending the rights of Crimean residents.

  • 12/12/2017

    Unresolved conflicts

    The Court issues its long-awaited follow-up decisions to its ground-breaking 2015 Grand Chamber judgments on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, calling for a property restitution mechanism and emphasising the two states’ responsibility to find a political resolution to the conflict.

  • 28/11/2017

    Politically motivated detention

    In Vano Merabishvili’s case, the Grand Chamber paves the way for individual victims of politically-motivated detentions and prosecutions across Europe to challenge state abuse of power more effectively.

  • 22/09/2017

    Human rights defenders

    Rasul Jafarov (Credit: People in Need’s “Doubling Down on Repression” exhibition.)

    After EHRAC provides information on Rasul’s case, and an expert opinion by a leading UK barrister, the Committee of Ministers sets an important precedent, in which they urge the re-opening of a conviction resulting from a ‘political prosecution’.

  • 20/09/2017

    Looking to state authorities to prevent and protect women from fatal violence

    EHRAC, GYLA and Union Sapari litigate 3 cases where the police and prosecutors failed to take protective measures to protect women from domestic violence before they were killed by their partners.

  • 01/08/2017

    Addressing shortcomings in anti-discrimination law

    We lodge a case on behalf of a trans man challenging Georgia’s refusal to change the gender marker in his official documents, in a new partnership with the Women’s Initiative Supporting Group in Tbilisi.

  • 13/04/2017

    Court establishes Russian responsibility for handling of school siege

    Over 400 victims and their relatives of the Beslan School Siege finally find justice, as the European Court found Russian responsibility for four separate violations of the right to life.

  • 30/03/2017

    Ethnic and religious discrimination

    The Mejlis, the representative body of Crimean Tatars, submits an application to the European Court challenging its designation as an ‘extremist’ organisation and subsequent banning by the Russian authorities.

  • 08/03/2017

    Politically-motivated proceedings

    EHRAC lawyers Prof. Philip Leach and Joanne Sawyer represent Ivane Merabishvili in an oral hearing before the Grand Chamber of the European Court, arguing that his pre-trial detention was unlawful, unnecessary and politically motivated.

  • 19/02/2017

    Independence of the judiciary

    The European Court’s judgment refers extensively to our groundbreaking case Volkov v Ukraine in highlighting the shortcomings in the judicial system.

  • 20/12/2016


    The Court rules that the conditions of the detention of 12 Georgians who were deported from Russia was “arbitrary and unlawful” detention

  • 17/11/2016

    Capacity Building

    Our fourth webinar on using emergency interim measures marked the attendance of the 1000th lawyer or activist at an EHRAC training.

  • 01/11/2016

    Property Rights

    EHRAC submits a breakdown on the international standards on post-conflict property restitution to the Council of Europe concerning our precedent-setting Nagorno-Karabakh case, Sargsyan v Azerbaijan, and the parallel case against Armenia.

  • 14/07/2016


    This bumper issue looks back on some of our successful cases over the last thirteen years, and discuss current and future priorities.

  • 02/06/2016

    Human Rights Defenders

    The Court finds the Azerbaijani authorities’ failure to provide adequate medical treatment to Leyla and Arif Yunus during their pre-trial detention constituted inhuman and degrading treatment – the first such finding of a violation against Azerbaijan.

  • 13/04/2016


    The decision in our landmark CEDAW case, X and Y v Georgia, is nominated for the annual awards by Women’s Link Worldwide for its potential to positively impact on gender equality in Georgia and beyond.

  • 17/03/2016

    Human rights defenders

    The Court finds the purpose of Rasul Jafarov’s detention was to punish him for his human rights activities, the first time that the Court has found such a violation based on the repression of human rights defenders.

  • 16/02/2016
    AFP/Getty Images

    The European Court’s judgment in Dalakov v Russia, concerning a young man abducted and killed in Ingushetia, marks our 130th judgment in the thirteen years since EHRAC was founded.

  • 05/01/2016


    In a strongly-worded judgment in Frumkin v Russia, the Court finds Russia failed in their obligations to protect freedom of assembly by not taking adequate measures to ensure that the 2012 protest was conducted peacefully.

  • 10/12/2015


    To mark International Human Rights Day 2015, EHRAC screens Barzakh at Pushkin House, a film portraying the day-to-day suffering faced by the families of the ‘disappeared’ men of Chechnya.

  • 04/12/2015


    EHRAC and Memorial win the case of Zakharov v Russia finding that the Russian legislation on surveillance of mobile telephones fails to provide for “adequate and effective guarantees against arbitrariness and the risk of abuse.”

  • 27/10/2015

    Human rights defenders

    EHRAC gives a voice to those at the front line of defending human rights in Russia and Azerbaijan during our panel discussion at the Law Society.

  • 23/10/2015


    EHRAC’s Director becomes the first ever recipient of the Law Society’s prestigious award for the Human Rights Lawyer of the Year.

  • 15/10/2015


    The European Court gives its strongest statement yet that Russia must hold to account the perpetrators of the Katyr-Yurt bombing in 2000, and take steps to ensure such events never happen again.

  • 13/07/2015

    Women's rights

    We win the first ever case against Georgia before the UN CEDAW Committee with Article 42 of the Constitution, concerning long-term physical and sexual abuse of a mother and daughter by their husband/father.

  • 16/06/2015

    Property Rights

    We win our joint case with Legal Guide, Sargsyan v Azerbaijan, regarding the property rights of citizens forced to flee their homes because of hostilities around Nagorno-Karabakh.

  • 21/04/2015

    Capacity building

    We hold our first online training on protecting women’s human rights through UN mechanisms, attended by 18 lawyers from Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Ukraine

  • 01/03/2015

    LGBTI Rights

    In 2015 EHRAC started litigating the case of Aghdgomelashvili and Japaridze v Georgia, which concerns allegedly degrading treatment of LGBTI activists by the police. Lodged by Interights and Article 42 in 2011, it is one of the first cases challenging discriminatory treatment against LGBTI individuals in Georgia to be communicated by the Court.

  • 10/12/2014

    To mark International Human Rights Day 2014, EHRAC launches a new website with human rights news and resources in Russian and English.

  • 11/2014


    In response to the armed conflict in the Donbas region, EHRAC begins to take cases with the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union and the Regional Centre for Human Rights.

  • 14/10/2014

    North Caucasus

    Ten years after the attack on Beslan’s school No. 1, victims and their applicants come one step closer to justice at a Chamber hearing.

  • 08/2014

    Human rights defenders

    EHRAC adapts to work with individual lawyers in Azerbaijan on litigating the cases of imprisoned human rights defenders, including some of our partners.

  • 06/2014

    With the addition of our first full-time Lawyer, the EHRAC team is now ten people, the biggest it has been to date.

  • 31/10/2013

    The judgment in Chilayev & Dzhabayev v Russia marks our 100th judgment from the Court. In this case, taken jointly with Memorial, two men were abducted in Chechnya in 2006, and never seen again.

  • 06/2013

    We hold a series of events – a panel discussion on NGOs in Russia, a film screening, a photography exhibition – to mark 10 years of human rights litigation and advocacy. We also launch our new 10 year strategy.

  • 06/02/2013

    Human Rights Defenders

    EHRAC and Memorial lodge a case on behalf of NGOs placed on the “Foreign Agents” registry under a new law enacted in November 2014.

  • 09/01/2013

    Independence of the judiary

    The landmark case of Volkov v Ukraine, which highlights systemic issues in the system of judicial accountability, has led to widespread reform to the Ukrainian Constitution and legislation.

  • 01/2013

    After ten years at London Metropolitan University, EHRAC finds a new home at the School of Law of Middlesex University.

  • 09/10/2012

    Peaceful enjoyment of possessions

    EHRAC Legal Consultant Vahe Grigoryan wins our first case against Armenia, which found authorities unlawfully expropriated Emma Tunyan from her home in central Yerevan in 2004. The judgment is used as new evidence in 2014 to challenge her eviction.

  • 05/2011

    Capacity Building

    Our first ever regional seminar convenes 30 lawyers from Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova to discuss Strasbourg litigation from a regional perspective.

  • 15/02/2011

    Death in detention

    The Court’s judgment in Tsintsabadze v Georgia addresses the systemic issue of prisoner deaths, and the authorities’ failure to adequately investigate them.

  • 02/10/2010

    With our 65th judgment from the Court, Abuyeva and others v Russia, we have won cases on behalf of over 100 victims of human rights abuses.

  • 20/12/2010

    Indiscriminate bombing

    The Court delivers a judgment in our second joint case with Memorial on the Katyr-Yurt bombing in 2000, finding Russia responsible for the deaths and injuries of 29 applicants and their relatives.

  • 02/02/2010

    Peaceful enjoyment of possessions

    We win our joint case with GYLA on seeking adequate compensation for the Kiladze brothers, whose parents had been sent to a GULAG in 1938.

  • 2010 


    EHRAC is approached by Armenian NGO Legal Guide to advise on the case of Sargsyan v Azerbaijan, in advance of a Grand Chamber hearing at the European Court.

  • 2010 


    We launch our project in Azerbaijan with three partners, litigating freedom of expression cases: the Legal Education Society, Media Rights Institute and Democracy and Human Rights Public Union

  • 02/2009


    Following the war in August 2008, we lodge a group of 32 cases questioning Russian responsibility in indiscriminate shelling, the destruction and looting of property, and ensuing fatalities.

  • 03/2008

    Training resource

    EHRAC publishes a practical guide to taking witness statements for European Court litigation in English, Russian and Georgian.

  • 04/2007


    We represent 13 applicants in cases relating to the unlawful detention, torture and deportation of ethnic Georgians from Russia.

  • 10/2006

    Capacity building

    We invite nine Russian, Georgian and Armenian lawyers to London for the first ever Legal Skills Development Programme.

  • 2006 


    EHRAC expands to Georgia, setting up a partnership with the Georgian Young Lawyers Association to take cases of deportations from Russia.

  • 01/2006

    Capacity building

    EHRAC publishes a practical guide on litigating before the European Court in the Russian context.

  • 09/06/2005


    The Court finds a violation of the right to respect for private life in a case where the Russia failed to protect the applicant from the environmental pollution emitted by a local company, setting a significant precedent for future such cases.

  • 24/02/2005


    First six Chechen judgments

    We win our first six joint cases with Memorial from Chechnya before the European Court, the first ever decisions from an international human rights body from the region.

  • 06/2004

    Capacity building

    We publish our first Legal Bulletin in Russian and English, focusing on torture and cases from the North Caucasus.

  • 09/2003

    Capacity Building

    First EHRAC training in Russia

    We hold a 3 day training on European Court litigation attended by human rights NGOs across Russia.

  • 2003 

    EHRAC sets up a partnership with Memorial HRC to litigate cases of egregious human rights abuse in Chechnya.