State Duma has approved the ratification of Protocol No. 14.
-The Norwegian Helsinki Committee welcomes this important move, says Secretary General Bjørn Engesland.
On January 15 the lower house of Russia's Duma approved the ratification of protocol No. 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights. The ratification of Protocol 14 has been a long- awaited step, as Russia is the last country to ratify the protocol. – We are happy that the Russian government now recognizes the European Court of Human Rights as one the most important institutions for protecting human rights, Engesland continues. Most of the pending cases in the ECHR originate from Russia, as nearly one-quarter derives from here. By November 2009 there have been 31 850 cases from Russia, which is a total of 27.3 % of all the cases in the ECHR. Most of the cases concern human rights abuses in Chechnya. At least 115 judgments from ECHR have held Russia responsible for enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions and torture, and for failing to investigate these crimes properly. Ratifying Protocol 14 will hopefully open up for the reform of the ECHR and increase the effectiveness of the court. As yet, Russia has been paying the compensations, according to the judgments, without investigation of the cases. Ratifying protocol 14 will hopefully change this practice.