1 April 2016
Source: Institute of Law & Public Policy
Russian Constitutional Court (RCC) held a hearing on 31 March 2016 on the issue of Russia’s compliance with the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in the case of Anchugov and Gladkov v. Russia. This is the first time RCC makes a decision on the possibility to comply with a ruling of an international human rights protection body, in accordance with the Russian Constitution. In its judgment in Anchugov and Gladkov v. Russia the ECtHR found that Russia violated art. 3 of Protocol No. 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights inasmuch as all convicted prisoners in Russia are disenfranchised by virtue of art. 32(3) of the Russian Constitution.
Institute for Law and Public Policy has filed an independent expert opinion (amicus curiae brief) in which it outlined possible ways to interpret art. 32(3) of the Russian Constitution for the purposes of the decision on compliance with the ECtHR ruling of 4th July 2013 in the case of Anchugov and Gladkov v. Russia.
Analysis conducted by the Institute leads to the following conclusions:
(i) Determination of the meaning of art. 32(3) of the Russian Constitution is informed by the principle of consistent interpretation. In accordance with this principle, where several interpretations are possible, an interpretation allowing Russia to avoid a breach of its international obligations is to be preferred.
(ii) Systemic, historical and evolutionary approaches to the interpretation of art. 32(3) of the Russian Constitution demonstrate that an absolute ban on prisoners’ voting is not the only possible interpretation of art. 32(3). In particular:
Click here to access the amicus curiae brief (in Russian).