OAO Neftyanaya Kompaniya Yukos v. Russia, Just Satisfaction, 31 July 2014, Application no. 14902/04: ECtHR’s Largest Ever Award for Just Satisfaction

06 Aug 2014 | by Conor McCarthy

In this landmark decision on just satisfaction (following its earlier decision on the merits of the dispute in 2012) the European Court of Human Rights made, by far, its largest ever award for pecuniary loss, ordering Russia to pay in the region of 1.9 billion Euros in compensation to the former shareholders of Yukos, (plus any tax that may be chargeable in respect of that sum). The Court made awards in respect of the retroactive imposition of penalties on the applicant company (c. 1.3 Billion Euros) and unlawful interference with its rights under Article 1, Protocol 1 of the Convention on account of the enforcement proceedings taken against it (c. 0.6 Billion Euros).

The Court did not address the decision by the Russian authorities to auction OAO Yuganskneftegaz, one of Yukos’s most valuable assets, a decision which the Court had earlier found in its decision on the merits of the dispute, extinguished the company’s “only hope of survival”. Furthermore, in its earlier findings on merits, the Court determined that the haste with which Russia’s domestic courts had conducted the tax proceedings had violated Yukos’s right to a fair hearing under Article 6, ECHR. The court declined to make any award in respect of this violation, finding an absence of a sufficient causal connection between the violation in question and pecuniary harm to Yukos.

Click here to download the full Yukos v. Russia case note.