Council of Europe welcomes Russia's decision on Protocol 14

Council of Europe welcomes Russia's decision on Protocol 14

Azerbaijan, Baku, September 24 / Trend , E.Ostapenko /

The Council of Europe welcomes the statement adopted today by the Russian State Duma to resume the question of the ratification of Protocol No. 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights, Council of Europe's official statement says.

''I am encouraged by the decision of the Russian State Duma to resume its consideration of Protocol 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights. I strongly hope that the State Duma will vote to ratify this important international instrument at the earliest opportunity,'' said the Acting Secretary General Maud de Boer-Buquicchio.

On Sept. 23, with 353 votes with 17 against, Russia's State Duma adopted a statement on ratification of Protocol 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights, which the MPs consider as "a step towards the Council of Europe".

The Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe Samuel Zbogar looks forward to the ratification of this important international instrument by the State Duma at the earliest opportunity. This would enable the entry into force of Protocol No. 14, thus reinforcing the protection of human rights in all Council of Europe member states, he said.

In 2006 Russia was the only one of the 47 Council of Europe member countries, which did not ratify the document, and thus blocked the reform of the Court on Human Rights.

Reformers sought to improve the efficiency of the European Court on Human Rights (ECHR), which recently can not cope with the increased number of complaints.

Protocol 14 envisages two key reforms: the decision to reject obviously unacceptable complaints can be made by one judge, not three, as now, but the verdict on the validity of complaints will be made by a commission of three, but not seven judges.

Exactly this point caused objections of Duma members who did not want the claims of the Russians to be considered without the participation of judges, representing Russia.

The European Union and the Council of Europe criticized Russia's position, saying that Moscow deliberately slows down the reform of the court: each year the number of complaints received by the Strasbourg Court from Russia is growing.

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