Georgia v Russian Federation ~ First Inter-State Case Application at ECHR Since 1998

28 Mar 2007 | by Monckton Chambers

On 26 March 2007 the Georgian Government lodged an inter-State case with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) against the Russian Federation.  The Monckton Chambers team was chosen to represent Georgia because of their ability to offer the expertise needed in this international case.

The case is the first inter-State case brought using the special procedure of Article 33 of the Convention (ie one brought by one Member State of the Council of Europe against another) since the ECHR became a full time institution in 1998 and only the fourth such case ever to be brought before the Court.

Georgia is represented before the ECHR by its Agent.  Piers Gardner and Jeremy McBride of Monckton Chambers have been instructed by the Georgian Ministry of Justice to act in relation to the case.

The case concerns the arrest, detention and collective expulsion of thousands of Georgians from Russia since September 2006 and the Russian imposition of an economic embargo on Georgia, by closing the border, forbidding maritime and air movements and cancelling all postal communications.  It asserts that Russia has established an administrative practice causing systemic breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights, including the:

  • Right to liberty and security of person (Article 5)
  • Prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment, involving the conditions in detention and deaths in detention of deportees (Article 3)
  • Collective expulsion of aliens (article 4 of Protocol 4 and Article 1 of Protocol 7)
  • Rights to respect for home, family life and correspondence (Article 8), the peaceful enjoyment of possessions (Article 1 of Protocol No 1), the right to education (Article 2 of Protocol No 1)
  • Prohibition on discrimination(Article 14), as well as
  • Ineffectiveness of national remedies for those affected (Article 13) and the implementation of measures for an impermissible purpose (Article 18)

Our team combines enormous experience in advising and bringing proceedings in commercial and property-related human rights cases.  Their expertise includes both advising on the UK’s Human Rights Act and ECHR and appearing in the European Court of Human Rights. Unusually they have handled European human rights cases concerning not only the UK, but many other European countries, including Spain.  They are also regularly involved in advising and bringing proceedings under other human rights instruments such as the United Nations’ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as EU law.