The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on January 31 over the inter-state case “Georgia v. Russia” (1) that the Russian Federation has to pay 10 million Euros in compensation for nonpecuniary damages related to mass deportation of 1500 ethnic Georgians from Russia in the period from October 2006 to January 2007.
According to the ECHR judgement:
- this amount shall be distributed by the applicant Government to the individual victims, by paying EUR 2,000 to the Georgian nationals who were victims only of a violation of Article 4 of Protocol No. 4 (prohibition of collective expulsion)
- compensation for nonpecuniary damage EUR 10,000 to EUR 15,000 to those of them who were also victims of a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and Article 3 of the Convention (inhuman and degrading treatment for detention conditions), taking into account the length of their respective periods of detention.
Under the ECHR decision Georgia shall establish an effective mechanism for such distribution of respective amounts to individual victims under the supervision of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
The case originated in an application (no. ) against the Russian Federation lodged with the Court by Georgia on 26 March 2007.
In a judgment of 3 July 2014, the Court held that in the period from October 2006 to January 2007 a coordinated policy of arresting, detaining and expelling Georgian nationals had been put in place in the Russian Federation which amounted to an administrative practice for the purposes of Convention case-law. Such actions of Russian Federation had been a violation of Article 5 of the Convention (right to liberty and security, non-existence of legal remedy), Article 3 (inhuman and degrading treatment for detention conditions), Article 13 of the Convention (right to effective remedy), Article 4 of Protocol No. 4 (expulsion of Georgian citizens in that period was an administrative practice).
“Article 42 of the Constitution” represents the rights of 7 victims
expelled by the Russian Federation in the period from October 2006
to January 2007. Under the decision of December 20, 2016, the
European Court has consolidated these complaints in one group
“Berdzenishvili and others v. Russia” (no. 14594/07, 14597/07,
15221/07, 16369/07 and 16706/07) and established violation of relevant articles of the Convention, however it has left open the issue of compensation until settlement of an inter-state dispute. The issue of distributing compensation to these persons will be decided after today’s ruling.
Another case, where the interests of the victims were protected by the organization – “Shioshvili and others v. Russia” (no. 19356/07), the European Court of Human Rights has satisfied the application and imposed payment of EUR 30 000 to Russian Federation for compensation of nonpecuniary damage. The compensation has already been paid to the victims.