Judge: European Court has no authority to change or cancel national court decisions

Judge: European Court has no authority to change or cancel national court decisions

Azerbaijan, Baku, April 26 / Trend /

The European Court of Human Rights has no authority to change or cancel national court decisions, an Azerbaijani Supreme Court judge said today.

"The court cannot act as a fourth instance," Azerbaijani Supreme Justice Vafaddin Ibayev said, expressing his attitude toward the European Court's decision on journalist Eynulla Fattulayev.

The European Court on Human Rights announced its decision regarding Fattulayev's appeal on its website April 22. The court demanded the jouirnalist's immediate release.

According to Ibayev, international law is based on international treaties concluded between states. By signing or ratifying these agreements, states are required to perform obligations listed in the treaties. States are not obliged to perform obligations that are not envisaged therein, he said.

"States have the authority to establish binding rules of conduct based on agreements with each other within the international community. By creating a legal and regulatory guideline on universal, regional and bilateral levels, international law has an obligatory effect on all subjects," Ibayev said.

At present, international legal norms have an important impact on the definition of mechanism contents and their implementation on the domestic level. States are free to choose the ways and means to implement international legal guidelines on its territory, he said. States realize the right to fulfill international legal norms in the domestic sphere based on national law. In other words, the state is responsible for defining a mechanism to ensure the implementation of obligations under international law, Ibayev concluded.

By joining the European Convention, Azerbaijan has undertaken obligations to ensure the rights of persons under the jurisdiction of this convention, he added. Everyone has the right to file a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in connection with a violation of these rights. The court's duty is to determine the violation or non-violation of rights under the convention. By joining the convention, states have also undertaken to fulfill the court's decisions, the judge said.

"Joining the European Convention, the Azerbaijani government has not given authority to annul or change the decisions of national courts to any body, including the European Court of Justice.

It is for this reason, the CE Committee of Ministers drew attention to the need for enforcement of the judgments of the European court for Human Rights. The recommendations were given in connection with the fact that the law of the member-states stipulated a procedure for review of decisions of national courts, in which the European Court found a violation.

Accordingly, the Criminal Procedure and the Code of Civil Procedure were amended under the law "Making additions and amendments to some legislative acts of the Azerbaijani Republic".

A procedure for consideration the cases at the plenary session of the Supreme Court, in which the European Court found violations has been determined", Ibayev said.

Ibayev said that banning the change of the national court's decision by an international body is a sign of the sovereignty of the state. Component of state sovereignty is the judicial and legislative systems in own territory of the country and implementing it in line with domestic law.

"The domestic law does not envisage chabges, cancellation or any interference in the judicial decision of the international body, which came into force, like the international treaties to which Azerbaijan has joined do not provide for intervention by the international body in the decision of the national court.

From this perspective, the decision taken by the European Court of Human Rights relating to the Fatullayev's case is surprising.

Along with the revealing of violation in this decision of the European Convention, the European Court made a decision on the immediate release of Fatullayev.

A provision included in the decision of the European Court on the immediate release of the plaintiff is an interference in the decision by the national court, which entered into force. It can not be justified by any rule of the international law, including the European Convention, " Supreme Court judge said.

He said that according to the recommendations of the CE Committee of Ministers under the number R (200) 2, only after the European court's decision enters into force, plenum of the Supreme Court of the Azerbaijani Republic has the authority to review Fatullayev's case. The question of his release could be resolved only by a decision of the national court. Moreover, the Azerbaijani government has the right to appeal the decision dated April 22, 2010 in the Grand Chamber of the European court.

"We believe that inclusion of the clause in the European Court's decision on the immediate release of Fatullayev is beyond the European court's authority", Ibayev said.

He said that Chairman of European court on Human Rights Jean Paul Costa said in his speech Jan. 19, 2007 at the inauguration of the judicial year that our decisions are open to criticism. We can make a mistake, but we have closed all the way to politicalization.

Ibayev said that from this point of view, the court's decision dated April 22, 2010, made against Azerbaijan is the decision that is subject to criticism.

"The reason is that the release of the person against the national court's decision on imprisonment, which entered into force, without observing any legal procedure, paying no attention the court's verdict, without the abolition of the judicial sentence, express disrespect to the court's decision, which entered into force," Supreme Court judge said.

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