NGO briefing in Strasbourg discusses cases against Bulgaria, Russia and Ukraine

 EIN NGO briefing at the Council of Europe premises on 24 May 2017

EIN NGO briefing at the Council of Europe premises on 24 May 2017

On 24 May 2017, the European Implementation Network (EIN) convened its quarterly civil society briefing to the Committee of Ministers (CM) on cases scheduled for its review at the 1288th CM-DH meeting on 6-8 June 2017. On that occasion, the EIN briefed CM members on the implementation of cases of United Macedonian Organisation Ilinden and Others group v Bulgaria, Ananyev and Others group and Kalashnikov group v Russian Federation and Yuriy Nikolayevich Ivanov and Zhovner group v Ukraine. The briefing took place at the premises of the Council of Europe. 

United Macedonian Organisation Ilinden and Others group v Bulgaria (Appl. No. 59491/00)

The cases concern the unjustified refusals of the courts to register an association aiming at achieving "the recognition of the Macedonian minority in Bulgaria". The refusals were based on considerations of national security, protection of public order and the rights of others and on the constitutional prohibition on associations pursuing political goals, which the European Court of Human Rights found in violation of Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. To date, no Macedonian group has been registered by the Bulgarian courts under the existing procedure despite numerous attempts by several organisations, including the UMO Ilinden. 

The assessment of the latest domestic developments was provided by Krassimir Kanev, Chairperson of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC). A brief note of the BHC disseminated at the briefing can be found here. All action plans and reports of the Government of Bulgaria in these cases, including the latest addendum to the action plan of March 2017, can be found on HUDOC EXEC here (see under 'Related'). 

Ananyev and Others group and Kalashnikov group v Russian Federation (Appl. Nos. 42525/07, 47095/99)

In these cases, the Court found that poor detention conditions in Russian remand centres and lack of effective remedies to challenge it amounted to violations of Articles 3 and 13 of the Convention respectively. The Court highlighted this as a structural problem in the Russian Federation by applying a pilot judgment procedure in the case of Ananyev and Others. 

During the briefing, Natalia Taubina, Director of the Public Verdict Foundation (PVF) discussed the latest developments in the execution process of the respective cases, including the latest action plan of the authorities of April 2017, and provided recommendations. The latest PVF submission under the rule 9(2) of the Rules of the Committee of Ministers filed after the NGO briefing can be found here.

Yuriy Nikolayevich Ivanov and Zhovner group v Ukraine (Appl. Nos. 40450/04, 56848/00)

These cases relate to the structural problem of non-enforcement or delayed enforcement of domestic judicial decisions, mostly delivered against the State and against state owned or controlled entities, and to the lack of an effective remedy in this respect. The Court found Ukraine in violation of Articles 6.1, 13 and Article 1 of Protocol 1 of the Convention. According to the Hudoc Exec database, the group concerns about 420 cases. The Court's judgment in the case of Yuriy Nikolayevich Ivanov was adopted through a pilot judgment procedure highlighting the non-enforcement of domestic decision as a structural problem in Ukraine. According to the information available on the Hudoc Exec database, as of 18 January 2017, there were 11,780 Ivanov-type cases pending before the Court, of which 8,479 have been communicated to the Ukrainian Government. The latest action plan of the authorities was submitted for the CM-DH meeting on 9-11 June 2015.

Latest information on the execution of these cases and recommendations to the Ukrainian Government were presented by Maksim Shcherbatyuk from the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union (UHHRU). The UHHRU submission under the rule 9(2) of the Rules of the Committee of Ministers filed after the NGO briefing can be found here.