2008 War: ECHR Throws Out 370 Applications Against Georgia

The European Court of Human Rights announced today it has deemed inadmissible 370 applications against Georgia for alleged human rights violations during the 2008 Russo-Georgian War.

The applicants claimed that actions of Georgian armed forces in the active phase of the war, on August 7-12, “had put their lives, as well as those of their family members, under real and immediate danger, obliged them to spend several days in anxiety and fear, restricted their physical liberty and damaged their properties.”

But the Strasbourg-based court stressed Georgia cannot be held responsible for acts that took place in Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia during the active phase of hostilities.

It added that amid the “ongoing massive armed conflict, positive measures of a public order nature” were both impossible to implement and of no real value, because they could not have meaningfully contributed to the protection of the applicants’ rights.

The ECHR asserted that massive fighting between Georgia and Russia took place “in a context of chaos and confusion, effectively preventing Georgia from exercising its authority over the areas in question for the duration of the active phase of the hostilities.”

The Court noted that as the 370 applications were “identical” to wartime claims against Georgia it threw out earlier, there was no reason to depart from the previous findings.

Georgia’s Justice Minister Rati Bregadze today dubbed the decision “another victory” in the Strasbourg Court. The Court shared Georgia’s arguments that the applications were “clearly unsubstantiated,” the Minister said.

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