Anchugov & Gladkov v. Russia, Judgment No. 12-II/2016. at Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, April 19, 2016

On April 19, 2016, in The Case Concerning the Resolution of the Question of the Possibility to Execute in Accordance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation the Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights of 4 July 2013 in the Case of Anchugov and Gladkov v. Russia in Connection with the Request of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation (Anchugov & Gladkov (Russ.)), the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation (Constitutional Court) held that decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) are binding on Russian courts, in accordance with Article 15(4) of the 1993 Constitution of the Russian Federation. At the same time, the Constitutional Court stressed the necessity of ensuring a reasonable balance between the obligation to implement ECtHR judgments and respect for the fundamental principles of the Russian Federation's constitutional system. The Constitutional Court found that because the ECtHR judgment in question implicitly conflicted with provisions of the Russian Constitution, Russian courts are not obliged to comply with the judgment regarding issues that remain in conflict; however, other means are available to the Russian legislature to give effect to the judgment. While the decision marks an important development in Russia's relationship with the European system of human rights, it is not inconsistent with the approach taken by a substantial number of European domestic courts in holding that treaty obligations to enforce decisions of international courts cannot justify violating domestic constitutional norms. Copyright © 2017 by The American Society of International Law.

Cambridge University Press
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  • 1 RUDN University, Russian Federation
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conflict between international obligations and domestic constitutional law; Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation; enforcement of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights; international human rights; restrictions on voting rights; subsidiarity
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