Russian Justice Ministry on ECHR’s Georgia vs. Russia Case Ruling

The Russian Justice Ministry claimed today that the verdict by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled Georgia’s complaint against Russia in connection with the August 2008 Russo-Georgian War “unfounded.”

Russian Deputy Justice Minister Mikhail Galperin insisted the country’s representatives managed to convince the Court’s judges that the legal assessment of actions by the Russian Armed Forces in Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia and Abkhazia on August 8-12, 2008 “is beyond their jurisdiction.”

“Also, the ECHR did not confirm any single case of violation by the Russian servicemen of the civilian population’s rights during the events of August 2008,” he further claimed.

In fact, the Strasbourg-based court ruled that although Moscow could not be held responsible for the violations of the European Convention of Human Rights violations during the active phase of hostilities in August 8-12, 2008 period, Russia was guilty of breaching six articles of the Convention in the aftermath of the war, as well as for failure to conduct an effective investigation into the alleged breach of the right to life.

The Court also asserted that since August 12, 2008, “strong Russian presence and the South Ossetian and Abkhazian authorities’ dependency on the Russian Federation indicated that there had been continued “effective control” over South Ossetia and Abkhazia,” and that the following events fell within Russian jurisdiction for the purposes of the Convention.

The Russian Justice Ministry said it disagrees with a number of verdict conclusions over Russia’s responsibility for violations after August 12, 2008, claiming ECHR’s use of the “extraterritorial jurisdiction” concept is at odds with UN International Court of Justice and generally recognized norms of international law.

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