The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) announced this Tuesday that it has registered a formal interstate request from Ukraine against Russia, a rather rare procedure to identify human rights violations by Moscow since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine.
On June 23, 2022, the European Court of Human Rights received a formally concluded order in this case”, which concerns “the allegations by the Ukrainian government of massive and egregious human rights violations committed by the Russian Federation in its military operations in the territory of Ukraine since 24 February 2022”, announced the ECtHR, the judicial arm of the Council of Europe.
Until now, the ECtHR had only received requests from Kiev for “interim measures”, reserved for emergency situations.
For these reasons, the Court has repeatedly asked Russia to restrict its actions in Ukrainebut the requests were never fulfilled.
“The Court has now received full application from the Ukrainian government in which it alleges that the Russian Federation illegally invaded Ukraine and that its invasion and occupation of certain parts of Ukraine continues,” summarizes the Strasbourg-based ECtHR.
“According to the Ukrainian government, the Russian Federation has carried out targeted, indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against civilians and their property across Ukraine, in violation of all applicable norms of international law,” reads the statement released by the ECtHR.
The Ukrainian government is therefore calling for multiple human rights violations by Russia in its territory.
Moscow remains bound by ECtHR rulings for all actions committed up to mid-September, even though Russia was expelled from the Council of Europe in mid-March.
But the procedure initiated by Kiev may not have much effect because Moscow decided in early June not to apply the ECtHR rulings.
Interstate petitions, procedures by which one state sues another, are rare: there have only been about 20 since 1953.
This new request joins the five petitions submitted by Ukraine against Russia in the last five years and which are ongoing.
The ECtHR also received 8,500 individual requests relating to the events in Crimea.in eastern Ukraine or on the Sea of Azov.
States convicted in this context may have to pay tens of millions of euros to the injured State.