International avenues for bringing complaints of human rights violations against the Russian Federation after its expulsion from the Council of Europe

11 July 2022
International avenues for bringing complaints of human rights violations against  the Russian Federation after its expulsion from the Council of Europe

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Russia’s expulsion from the Council of Europe on 16 March 2022 has a number of implications for lawyers litigating cases against the Russian Federation. Importantly, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) will only have jurisdiction in relation to violations of the European Convention on Human Rights that occur until 16 September 2022, and the Russian Federation is not going to implement any judgments that become final after 15 March 2022. Lawyers may therefore wish to consider alternative fora for bringing complaints against Russia, including the UN treaty bodies.

This briefing note outlines: (1) available avenues for bringing complaints against Russia following its expulsion from the Council of Europe, with a particular focus on the UN treaty bodies; (2) options for interim measures and urgent actions; (3) practical considerations when advising clients; and (4) further information and guidance.

It should be noted that the current context in relation to Russia’s engagement with the Council of Europe and ECtHR is developing and subject to change. This briefing note reflects the situation as at 30 June 2022.