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Putin Backs Russian Human Rights Court Proposal

President Vladimir Putin supported an idea of forming a human rights court in Russia during a council meeting. Kremlin.ru

Russia should form its own human rights court, President Vladimir Putin said when asked by a council member on Thursday. 

Analysts have said the formation of such a court is likely a response to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which has ordered Russia to pay out millions of euros to plaintiffs for human rights violations over the years.

“The idea seems right in itself,” Putin said during the annual meeting of the presidential human rights council, asking members to start working on clarifying legislative and funding details.

The RBC news website cited sources in parliament and the expert community as saying that the idea for a Russian human rights court has never previously been discussed among lawmakers.

Alexander Verkhovsky, director of the Sova Center for Information and Analysis, called the idea “abstract,” telling RBC that it lacks legislative backing unlike the ECHR, which relies on the European Convention on Human Rights.

Russian citizens have the right to appeal to the ECHR, which obliges Russia to enforce its decisions. 

This summer, Russian voters approved a set of constitutional amendments that include a provision prioritizing the Russian Constitution and its laws over international treaties and other acts. Experts saw the change as targeting the ECHR, where Russia remains the runaway leader in case numbers.

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