The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (Committee of Ministers), urging Russia “to eliminate the consequences of unjust sentences” in the case of “Bulk and Officers against Russia” and to allow Navalny to run in the presidential elections in 2018, exceeded their competence.

“The task of the Committee of Ministers to monitor the implementation of those regulations which was made by the European court. If the European court in their motivations recorded that one of the ways to restore violated rights is the revision case, therefore, the country is obliged to do it…” explained TASS the former judge of the European court of human rights (ECHR) from 1998 to 2012, member of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe Anatoly Kovler. But “reviewing the case, the state is not obliged to reconsider it in favour of the applicant,” he said.

Kovler pointed out that “the pronouncement of acquittals or sentence in favour of the applicant ever court is not supposed to, it is entirely the discretion (judgment official or public authority within its jurisdiction of the question in its sole discretion) of the state or its courts.”

“If the Committee of Ministers there is something added, then it is exceeding its competence, the court always reacted very painfully,” – said in an interview with TASS former judge of the ECHR.

The day before, on 21 September, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe recognized that the Russian authorities continue to violate the rights of opposition politician Alexei Navalny, in particular, because the case was sent for retrial to the same court that issued subsequently cancelled the verdict.

In the Committee of Ministers stated that the defendants in the “case “Kirovec” “continue to suffer from the consequences of their arbitrary and unjust sentences”. In this regard, the Committee urged the Russian authorities to “urgently take advantage of other ways to eliminate these effects, in particular the prohibition of Mr Navalny to participate in elections.”

The Committee of Ministers has also asked Russia for more information on the case “Bulk and Officers against Russia”, having decided to revisit the issue in December.

The Ministry of justice of the Russian Federation, commenting on the decision of the Committee of Ministers, said that it demonstrates the bias and politicization. The Ministry said that it has provided comprehensive information on the measures taken in execution of a judgment of the ECtHR, and noted that considering the decision of the Committee of Ministers “as an attempt of misuse of the conventional mechanism and the working bodies of the Council of Europe to exert political pressure on the Russian authorities in the coming electoral period”.

However, whatever the decision of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CMCE) in the case of Bulk, it still will not be mandatory for the Russian nature and have no legal force.

As has declared RIA “news” the Vice-speaker of the Federation Council Ilyas Umakhanov, “this decision can have only recommendatory character, and one or the other sovereign state has the right to take or not to take”.

He said that even the decisions of the European court of human rights if they conflict with the Constitution of the Russian Federation, shall not be carried out on the territory of Russia.

“Actually, no one would have brought the matter to attention, but around this case once again came up with political environment, political hype, which, of course, is associated with the person of Mr Navalny and others. It is the artificial heating of interest, nothing more,” – said Umakhanov.

Decisions of the Committee of Ministers are only of a declarative nature and are not mandatory

According to the international norms and rules of the European court of human rights (ECHR) is not a substitute for national courts, but merely establishes the existence of a breach of the Convention on human rights – not touching the validity of the charges. It is directly specified in the decision on Bulk. The court only found a violation of the rights of Navalny in the framework of the Convention on human rights.

In accordance with article 46 of the Convention for the protection of human rights after final decision of the ECHR is referred to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which supervises its execution. If it turns out that the execution of the decision interferes with his “different interpretation”, reports of the Committee of Ministers a question about this on additional consideration of the ECHR.

Decisions of the Committee of Ministers that monitors the implementation of decisions of the ECHR, are only declaratory and not binding. They all have the status of recommendations.

As a rule, the Committee is limited to making resolutions or special letters on behalf of the Committee, its chair or the Secretary General of the Council of Europe address by senior officials of the Respondent state. If after that the decision is not executed, the Committee of Ministers and the ECHR may jointly apply additional penalties to the country of the offender.

No other measures of coercion by the Committee of Ministers in relation to Russia over the “failure” of the decisions of the European court of human rights does not exist.



In Russia believe that the Committee of Ministers exceeded the competence in the case of Bulk, but his decision is still only a recommendation 22.09.2017

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