By HRC Correspondent, 14 October 2011
The Yukos judgement has flagged up the large number of cases brought against Russia that pass through the European Court of Human Rights. In fact, since ratifying the European Convention on Human Rights in 1998, Russia is regularly the country with the most complaints filed against it per year.
This perhaps explains Russia's fraught relationship with the Court. The Russian Duma is still considering a bill submitted in June by Alexander Torshin, the acting chairman of the Federation Council, that would allow Russia's Constitutional Court to over-rule judgements against Russia by the European Court. The bill was submitted at the exact time the Yukos judgement was agreed in the European Court, although the judgement was not announced until last week.
Since states that are signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights have a duty to respect the Court's rulings, if Russia were to pass that kind of legislation it would likely have to leave the Council of Europe.
But Russia appears to have largely welcomed the European Court's ruling in the Yukos case, mainly as the court ruled that there had not been enough evidence to suggest a political motivation behind the case. Mikhail Barshchevsky, a Kremlin spokesperson, called it "an indisputable victory", according to Russia’s RIA Novosti.
The Court did, however, rule that the oil company’s Convention rights to a fair trial and to the peaceful enjoyment of its property and possessions had been violated.