Putin accuses the European Court of Human Rights of making unlawful decisions

16.01.2020, Moscow.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) sometimes makes blatantly unlawful decisions, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin said on January 16 at a meeting with the working group on draft amendments to the Constitution.

In a discussion of introducing amendments to Russia’s main law regarding the relation between international and national law, Putin noted that our country has often come across someone’s attempts to govern it “from abroad.”

As an example of such attempts to put pressure on Russia from abroad, the national leader pointed out certain ECtHR decisions. In particular, Putin noted that ECtHR sometimes makes “obviously unlawful decisions.”

This situation, the Russian president believes, cannot be tolerated. However, Putin noted that, despite this position of the ECtHR, Russia nevertheless fulfills all decisions of the Strasbourg court.

Russia became a member of the Council of Europe in 1996. ECtHR is part of this organization. As soon as in 1998, the Strasbourg court began to accept claims from Russian citizens alleging that the Russian authorities violated their rights.

Editorial comment

For a long time, the relation between international and national law remained an unresolved issue in the Russian legal framework. However, in 2015 the Constitution Court of the Russian Federation made a pivotal decision resolving that the national Constitution has primacy over international law.

The Court also reserved the right to examine any ECtHR decisions for compliance with the Russian Constitution. If the ECtHR violates Russia’s main law, the Constitution Court may set aside its decision in Russia.

Thus, the primacy of the Russian Constitution over international law has already been recognized de facto in our country’s legal framework, even if by a judicial interpretation of the main law.

Putin’s statement on this issue has not legal, but solely political meaning. This is the first time in Russia when potential primacy of national legislation over international law is discussed at such a high level.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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