Published: 1 Aug 2012

Application for Infringement Proceedings


Two judgments at the European Court of Human Rights, Isayeva v Russia (2005) and Abuyeva and Others v Russia (2010) found Russia directly responsible for the bombing of Katyr-Yurt, which resulted in the death of multiple villagers. In Abuyeva, violations of the right to life, the failure to investigate and the lack of domestic remedies, mirrored those found in Isayeva, five years earlier. This led the Court to take the unprecedented step of finding that Russia had “manifestly disregarded the specific findings of a binding judgment.”

Marusya Abuyeva3EHRAC conducted wide-scale research in 2012, establishing that there have been more than 200 judgments against Russia concerning human rights violations in the North Caucasus region, the vast majority of which involve multiple violations of the European Convention. The inadequacy of official investigations has featured in many of these cases, on a scale which points to a systemic and continuing problem. Despite supervision by the Committee of Ministers since 2006, no real progress towards securing effective investigations has been made in respect of Isayeva and Abuyeva.

EHRAC and Memorial take the view that given the high number of cases, the grave nature of the violations, the lack of accountability and investigation, and the potential time constraints, the initiation of infringement proceedings represents the next logical step in bringing those responsible to account, and ensuring that the Russian Federation carries out a full and effective investigation into these gross violations of human rights.

In August 2012, EHRAC and Memorial HRC submitted a formal application for Infringement Proceedings to the Committee of Ministers at the Council of Europe. The application acted as a direct catalyst to bring these two important judgments back into sharp focus at the September meeting, when the Committee of Ministers:

“Called upon the Russian authorities to ensure that this additional investigation eventually addresses all the shortcomings repeatedly identified by the Court and invited them to provide detailed information in this respect so as to enable the Committee to ascertain that this investigation has effectively paid due regard to all the Court’s conclusions.”

See links below for the full application and research.