Published: 24 May 2016 | By Prof. Philip Leach and Rhodri Williams

Briefing Note: Sargsyan v Azerbaijan & Chiragov and others v Armenia


On 24 May 2016 Prof. Philip Leach (Director, EHRAC) and Rhodri Williams (Senior Legal Expert, International Legal Assistance Consortium) presented on the European Court of Human Rights’ June 2015 judgments in the two cases relating to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to government representatives at the Council of Europe at a briefing event organised by the European Implementation Network and the Open Society Justice Initiative.

Two Grand Chamber judgments delivered on 16 June 2015 (Sargsyan v Azerbaijan and Chiragov and others v Armenia) upheld the European Convention rights of families displaced by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the early 1990s, a conflict that created hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally-displaced persons (IDPs) on both sides, and which has remained unresolved in the ensuing decades. Peace negotiations have been held under the auspices of the OSCE ‘Minsk Group’ (co-chaired by France, Russia and the United States), but as the judgments make clear, settlement negotiations have repeatedly failed.

EHRAC and the NGO Legal Guide represented the applicants in Sargsyan v Azerbaijan.