EIN and OSJI quarterly briefing: cases against Georgia, Russia and the United Kingdom

 EIN and OSJI briefing on 28 November 2016

EIN and OSJI briefing on 28 November 2016

On 29 November 2016, the European Implementation Network (EIN) and the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) convened its quarterly civil society briefing on cases scheduled for review at the 1273 CM-DH meeting. On that occasion, EIN and OSJI briefed members of the Committee of Ministers on Identoba and Others v Georgia, Alekseyev v Russia, Israilova and Others v Russia, and McKerr group v the United Kingdom.

Identoba and Others v Georgia (Appl. No. 73235/12)

The case concerns a peaceful demonstration in Tbilisi in May 2012 to mark the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, which was violently disrupted by counter-demonstrators. The applicants, an NGO, Identoba, and 13 individuals, complained that the Georgian authorities had failed to protect them from violent attacks and to effectively investigate the incident, including the discriminatory motive behind the attacks. The Court held that there had been a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) taken in conjunction with Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination), and of Article 11 (right to freedom of peaceful assembly), also taken in conjunction with Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination).

The current state of execution and suggested actions to be taken by Georgia were presented by Nigel Warner of ILGA-Europe.

A joint NGO submission by Identoba, Women's Initiatives Support Group (WISG), Amnesty International, and ILGA-Europe as non-governmental organisations under rule 9(2) of the Rules of the Committee of Ministers can be found here

The Committee's decision on the case adopted at its 1273 CM-DH meeting can be found here

Alekseyev v Russia (Appl. Nos. 4916/07, 25924/08, 14599/09)

 Nigel Warner of ILGA-Europe presents on Alekseyev v Russia case

Nigel Warner of ILGA-Europe presents on Alekseyev v Russia case

The Alekseyev v. Russia cases address repeated bans on demonstrations promoting tolerance and respect for the human rights of LGBTI persons, and the absence of an effective remedy to challenge those bans. The European Court of Human Rights found violations of Convention Articles 11 (right to freedom of assembly), 13 (right to an effective remedy), and 14 (prohibition of discrimination) taken in conjunction with Article 11. The execution of judgments process in this case has now been proceeding for 5 ½ years. 

The review of execution of judgments process to date and latest developments were presented by Nigel Warner of ILGA-Europe. 

A joint NGO submission by Coming Out and ILGA-Europe as non-governmental organisations under rule 9(2) of the Rules of the Committee of Ministers can be found here

The Committee's decision on the case adopted at its 1273 CM-DH meeting can be found here.

 Israilova and Others v Russia (Appl. No. 4571/04)

The case concerns enforced disappearance of the applicant's son and is being reviewed by the Committee of Ministers as a part of the Khashiyev and Akayeva group. The Court found violations of Article 2 (right to life), Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), Article 5 (right to liberty and security), and Article 13 (effective remedy) in respect to a violation of Article 2 of the Convention. As reported by the applicant's legal representatives, in May 2015, the applicant has been informed that her son's remains had been found. According to an expert forensic examination conducted in October 2015, the authorities have determined with close to 100% accuracy that the remains found belong to the applicant’s son. However, the remains have still not been handed over to the applicant for burial. 

Information on the latest developments in the case and suggested questions to the Russian Government were presented by Diana Kostina of the Russian Justice Initiative.  

Submission of the Russian Justice Initiative on the developments related to the remains of the applicant's son under rule 9(2) of the Rules of the Committee of Ministers can be found here

The Committee's decision on the Khashiyev and Akayeva group adopted at its 1273 CM-DH meeting can be found here.

McKerr group v the United Kingdom (Appl. No. 28883/95)

In these cases the Court found the United Kingdom in violation of its procedural obligations under Article 2 (right to life) of the Convention.

Six of these judgments, delivered in 2001-2003, concern the deaths of the applicants’ next-of-kin in Northern Ireland in the 1980s and 1990s either during security forces operations or in circumstances giving rise to suspicion of collusion with those forces. A ‘package of measures’ was put forward to remedy these violations however implementation of these judgments has been subject to excessive delay.

Further judgments have been delivered since 2013 again finding Article 2 investigative violations due to excessive delays in inquest proceedings into deaths concerning the security forces in Northern Ireland. 

Latest information on the execution of this group of cases and recommendations were presented by Gemma McKeown of the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ). 

CAJ submission under rule 9(2) of the Rules of the Committee of Ministers can be found here

The Committee's decision on the McKerr group adopted at its 1273 CM-DH meeting can be found here