Russian MPs Vote To Quit European Court Of Human Rights

Channels Television  
Updated June 8, 2022
Smoke and dirt rise from shelling in the city of Severodonetsk during fight between Ukrainian and Russian troops in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas on June 7, 2022. ARIS MESSINIS / AFP


Russian lawmakers on Tuesday passed legislation that finalises Moscow’s exit from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights. 

The vote came following Russia’s expulsion from the Council of Europe in March after President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24.

The move deprived Russians of what many activists saw as the last hope for justice and crushed efforts to integrate the country into the international rights framework, observers say.

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“The European Court of Human Rights has become an instrument of a political battle against our country in the hands of Western politicians,” Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, said following the vote.

“Some of its decisions were in direct contradiction to the Russian constitution, our values and our traditions,” he said in a statement.

Russia had been under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights — overseen by the continent’s top rights organisation — for more than 20 years, becoming its biggest purveyor of cases.

As part of the amendments, Russia will not carry out rulings of the ECHR that were issued after March 15, the day Moscow said it would pull out of the Council of Europe after pressure mounted for Moscow to be expelled.

Volodin added that any future pay-outs that were ordered before March 15 would only be paid in rubles and into Russian bank accounts.

The legislation also stipulates that Russian courts have the power to overrule decisions of the ECHR.

The so-called “Ruxit” from the Council of Europe will have far-reaching consequences.

Campaigners have warned of a potential intensification of a clampdown on Russia’s embattled civil society amid Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine, worsening abuse of prisoners, and possible reinstatement of the death penalty.