European Court of Human Rights Ruled Russia to pay compensation for individual cases of citizens subjected to expulsion from Russia in 2006

In today’s judgement, as of March 26, in the collective application of individual cases “Berdzenishvili and others v. Georgia” European Court of Human Rights held Russian Federation to pay compensation to the citizens of Georgia.

The case concerns violation of the European Convention of Human Rights against Georgian citizens subjected to an administrative practice of arrest, detention and expulsion in the period from October 2006 to January 2007.

NGO “Article 42 of the Constitution” represented the rights of 7 victims expelled by the Russian Federation. Under the decision of December 20, 2016, the European Court has consolidated these applications into one group “Berdzenishvili and others v. Russia” (no. 14594/07, 14597/07, 14976/07, 14978/07,15221/07, 16369/07 and 16706/07) and established violation of several relevant articles of the Convention, however it has left open the issue of compensation until settlement of an inter-state dispute.

Under the ruling of Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) of January, 2019 over the inter-state case “Georgia v. Russia” Russian Federation has to pay 10 million Euros in compensation for nonpecuniary damages related to mass deportation of Georgians from Russia (see the organization’s announcement here).  

After making a decision on compensation for an inter-state dispute, the European Court also discussed and made a judgement on just satisfaction of the applicants on individual cases.

The amount of compensation was determined by the individual cases according to the nature and severity of the violation, however, the European Court shared the principle of determining the amount of compensation set by the Grand Chamber in an inter-state dispute:

·      Applicants, who had suffered a violation of their rights under Article 4 of Protocol No. 4 alone (prohibition of collective expulsion of foreign citizens), should receive EUR 2,000 each. (2 applicants represented by the Organization).

·     Applicants, who had suffered a violation of rights under paragraph 1, Article 5 (right to liberty and security / right to have lawfulness of detention decided speedily by a court) and Article 3 of the Convention (prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment) will be awarded EUR 10 000 to EUR 15 000 according to the period of their detention. (5 applicants represented by the Organization).

Under to the same decision, the European Court did not establish a violation of the principle of prohibition of collective expulsion of foreigners against applicants who left the Russian Federation by their own will and there was no official decision of the Russian court or other state authority on their expulsion.

 Also, the Court did not find a violation of procedural guarantees related to expulsion of foreigners (Article 1 of Protocol No. 7) against applicants who were illegally residing at the territory of Russian Federation.

The decision of the European Court shall come into force in three months, if the parties do not require the case to be transferred to the Grand Chamber. Russian Federation will have to pay the above compensations within three months from the date when the decision enters into force.

In turn, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe monitors fulfillment of this obligation by the Russian Federation.