Application of the Convention on Human Rights Protection and Fundamental Freedoms by courts of general jurisdiction of the Russian Federation

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation published the resolution of Plenum № 21 of 27.06.2013 to courts of general jurisdiction that explains the application of the Convention on Human Rights Protection and Fundamental Freedoms of 4 November, 1950 and its Protocols.

The Resolution includes the following:

- the legal position of the European Court is considered by applying the legislation of the Russian Federation. The content of the rights and freedoms stipulated by the legislation of the Russian Federation shall be determined by taking into account the content of similar rights and freedoms, disclosed by the European Court through the Convention and its Protocols. The legislation of the Russian Federation may envisage a higher level of protection of the rights and freedoms in comparison with the standards guaranteed by the Convention and its Protocols as interpreted by the Court. In such cases, the courts shall apply the provisions contained in the legislation of the Russian Federation;

- courts must always justify the need to limit the rights and freedoms of an individual by providing facts. Restriction of rights and freedoms is permitted only if there are relevant and sufficient reasons for such limitations, and if there is a balance between the legitimate interests of the person whose rights or freedoms are limited and the legitimate interests of other persons, the state or society;

- the need to comply with the appropriate duration period of legal proceedings cannot justify the restriction of certain rights under the Convention, therefore the court must not use this as a pretext to reject the study of evidence necessary for a complete and fair solution of the case, and to ensure procedural equality of the parties;

- point 4 of Article 5 of the Convention in the interpretation of the European Court of Justice provides for a person's right to a speedy trial regarding the justification of his detention and for immediate release if the detention is considered unlawful and unjustified by the court. After making a complaint and (or) submitting to the resolution their measure of restraint - detention  (to extend detention period), courts must immediately send the appropriate materials for appellate review. Courts of appeal must consider the complaint and (or) submission not later than the date specified in paragraph 11 of Article 108 of the CCP of the Russian Federation, that is, no later than 3 days from the date the complaint or submission was made.

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