ECHR releases details of their decision to declare YUKOS application admissible

18 Feb 2009

The European Court of Human Rights declared admissible an application by YUKOS Oil Company on 29 January 2009. Details of that decision now released show that the Court has accepted for further examination on their merits YUKOS’ complaints that:

  • the company had been taxed unlawfully in respect of liabilities totalling US $37 Bn which were wholly unknown to Russian Law before the Yukos case;
  • that this taxation and its enforcement amounted to the disguised expropriation of the company and its assets, and
  • that these measures singled the company out for special treatment in a discriminatory way as an abuse of power.

The Court also admitted for further examination that YUKOS’ complaints that the Russian tax proceedings as a whole had been unfair and represented the imposition of retrospective criminal penalties.

In declaring the vast majority of Yukos’ complaints admissible, the Court also rejected the Russian Government’s argument that all these complaints were now moot because Yukos had been made bankrupt and ceased to exist under Russian law. The Court specifically held that Piers Gardner, of Monckton Chambers, who has represented YUKOS before the Court since this application was filed in 2004, continues to be YUKOS’ valid representative in the proceedings.

The Court has requested written submissions from the parties in relation to nine questions and has decided to hold a hearing on the merits.

YUKOS’ underlying dispute concerning the tax liabilities of US$37 Bn and their consequences is the largest dispute by value ever to have been litigated before any court, domestic or international

For the ECtHR judgment, please click here.

Please click below for more information on:
Piers Gardner