UHHRU: We ask the Council of Europe to send back the list of candidates submitted by Russian Federation
COUNCIL OF EUROPE
Committee of Ministers
Sub-Committee on the Election of Judges
Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, the association of thirty human rights organisations of Ukraine, would like to express the concern as to the process of the election of the Judge of the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Russian Federation.
According to the Recommendation 1649 (2004) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, “in order for the European Court of Human Rights to continue to inspire confidence, it is vital that the process by which judges are selected and appointed also inspire confidence. The Parliamentary Assembly also stressed that “the process of appointment must reflect the principles of democratic procedure, the rule of law, non-discrimination, accountability and transparency”.
Our observation of the national process of selection in Russian Federation has raised our concern that non-observance by the Russian authorities the above principles may lead to the detrimental consequences for the European system of the protection of human rights.
We observed that the announcement about the competition was published by Russian authorities in specialized media “Newsletter of the European Court of Human Rights” only at the beginning of August 2011, i.e. after the deadline for the application set up on August 1, 2011 expired. This flagrant procedural flaws had the result that many candidates having sufficient credentials to participate in the national competition, were in fact debarred from the effective participating in the selection process. In such circumstances the national competition could not fulfil the task to select the most appropriate candidates. This and other deficiencies in the procedure of the selection were challenged in the Russian courts by debarred candidates, and the consideration of their claims is pending to date.
In result of the flawed selection proceedings, the Russian Federation submitted to the Parliamentary Assembly the list of the candidates whose backgrounds hardly match the requirements for position of the judge of the European Court of Human Rights. From the list of the candidates submitted, only one may be said as having experience in the area as an ad hoc judge in two cases considered the European Court of Human Rights.
Thus, the list of candidates submitted by the Russian Federation provides no real choice among the candidates, contrary to the Resolution 1646 (2009) of the Parliamentary Assembly.
We would like to remind that the requirement of transparency and quality of the selection procedure at national level is one of integral part of the Interlaken Declaration of 19 February 2010 adopted by the High Level Conference meeting.
For the above reasons, we ask the Council of Europe to send back the list of candidates submitted by Russian Federation to allow the Member State to launch new selection procedure that would be open, transparent and public.
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