ECtHR Rulings of the Week: Violations of right to private and family life and of right to property. Court also accepts application by Memorial Human Rights Centre over fines imposed under ‘foreign agent’ law

Week-ending 11 December 2020

This week there were two rulings of the European Court of Human Rights in relation to Russia finding violations of Article 8 (respect for private and family life) and Article 1 of Protocol 1 (protection of property). In addition, the European Court of Human Rights has accepted an application by Memorial Human Rights Centre and Aleksandr Cherkasov, chair of the board of the NGO, over fines imposed under the ‘foreign agent’ law after an inspection by FSB officers in Ingushetia.

DAKHKILGOV v. RUSSIA, 8 December 2020 [translated by RiR from the French below]

Art 1 P1 – Deprivation of property – Arbitrary and unlawful expropriation of part of the applicant’s land when a sports stadium adjoining a public school was installed on it – Applicant lawful and undisputed owner at the time of the interference – De facto expropriation of his property without prior judicial review, in the context of a procedure provided for by law, of the public utility of the deprivation of his property and in the absence of any compensation – National authorities having benefited from their unlawful conduct

A violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention.

LUSHKIN AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA, 15 December 2020

Art 8 • Respect for home • Disproportionate eviction orders from tied accommodation where applicants’ new flats were unfit for habitation • Interference notwithstanding that orders not yet executed • Failure of domestic courts to weigh the interests of the municipality against the applicants’ right • Shortcoming in the decision-making process

A violation of Article 8 of the Convention; the respondent State is to pay the applicants, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, the following amounts: EUR 5,000, plus any tax that may be chargeable, to Mr Lushkin and Mrs Lushkina jointly, in respect of non-pecuniary damage; EUR 5,000, plus any tax that may be chargeable, to Mr Nagulov and Mrs Nagulova jointly, in respect of non-pecuniary damage.

On the case of Memorial Human Rights Centre, see below:

Caucasian Knot, Monday, 7 December 2020: The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has accepted the complaint lodged by the Human Rights Centre (HRC) “Memorial” and Alexander Cherkasov about the fines imposed after an inspection by the Ingush FSB Department, human rights defenders report. The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that on April 27, Alexander Cherkasov, the chairman of the Board of the HRC “Memorial”, used raised donations to pay three fines of 100,000 roubles eachimposed after the inspection by the Ingush FSB Department for the absence of a “foreign agent label” in publications. On the same day, the HRC “Memorial” promised to lodge to the ECtHR a complaint about the decisions on fines imposed by Russian courts. The HRC “Memorial” and Alexander Cherkasov appealed with a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights. In their complaint, the human rights defenders claim that the fines paid over the past year under the Law “On foreign agents” violate the rights guaranteed by Article 10 (freedom of expression), Article 11 (freedom of assembly), Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination), and Article 18 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the press service for the HRC “Memorial” reports.

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