Friday, January 15, 2010
The New York Times reports today that the lower house of the Russian Parliament voted e 392-56 to approve reforms to the European Court of Human Rights. The vote approved Protocol 14, which among other things would speed up the court's work by reducing the number of judges required to make major decisions. The New York Times article notes that the European Court of Human Rights has "a backlog of complaints, nearly one-third of them against Russia." Russia has been the holdout country to ratify Protocol 14, which the other 46 participating nations had all approved by 2006.
The New York Times article by Ellen Barry ("Russia Ends Opposition to Rights Court") quotes one Russian lawmaker as saying that European ministers had finally addressed Russian complaints about the proposed reforms, and that they had now guaranteed that Russian judges would be involved in reviewing complaints against Russia. The article describes some of the important cases coming up against Russia. If you are teaching international human rights law this semester, you might want to have your students pick up a copy of the paper today to read that story.