Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Dilemma of Continuing or Ceasing Russian Membership in the Council of Europe

Last week the Washington Post reported that top Russian officials are contemplating withdrawal from the Council of Europe. This latest development illustrates the growing tensions between Russia and the Council of Europe which could ultimately lead to the cessation of Russia’s membership. Both Russia and the Council of Europe, however, face a dilemma when it comes to deciding what steps should be taken.

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Sandu and Others v Russia and Moldova: The High Costs of Occupation

On 17 July 2018, the European Court on Human Rights reminded again that occupation of foreign lands and support of separatist regimes is a costly affair. This cost is not only calculated in terms of monetary repercussions but also in terms of reputational losses. On that day the chamber of the Court delivered a judgment in the case of Sandu and Others v Russia and Moldova. This judgment is a new one in the line of cases dealing with a breakaway region of Moldova – the self-proclaimed Republic of Transnistria.

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„Ehe für alle“ eher nicht: Traditionalismus und Staatshomophobie – Russlands Weg im Umgang mit Diskriminierung

Homophobe Rechtspraktiken in Russland haben eine lange Tradition, die von der russischen Regierung wie auch von der russisch-orthodoxen Kirche bewahrt werden. Das ohnehin schon zerrüttete Verhältnis Russlands zum EGMR wird durch das jüngste Urteil des Gerichtshofes zu einer Verurteilung wegen „Propaganda für Homosexualität“ weiter auf die Probe gestellt.

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Judicial Review of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy: Lessons from the Rosneft case

On 28 March 2017, the Grand Chamber of the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) decided in a preliminary ruling that the restrictive measures adopted by the Council against Russian undertakings, including oil company Rosneft, are valid. The judgment is of constitutional significance. It clarifies the scope of the CJEU’s jurisdiction with respect to acts adopted in the sphere of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). In particular, it reveals that the EU system of judicial protection fully applies in relation to restrictive measures against natural and legal persons (so-called ‘targeted sanctions’).

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Money Makes the Court Go Round: The Russian Constitutional Court’s Yukos Judgment

On 19 December 2017 the Russian Constitutional Court (RCC) ruled that payment of just satisfaction in the Yukos case was contrary to the Russian Constitution. It is the first time the apex court of a Council of Europe member state concluded that it should not pay just satisfaction. This blog post provides the background of the case, sums up the reasoning of the RCC and assesses the implications of its judgment of 19 December 2017.

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Russland, der EGMR und das Wahlrecht für Strafgefangene

Russland und Großbritannien Seite and Seite gegen Europa? Das ist in fast jeder Hinsicht weit hergeholt – aber nicht unbedingt im Verhältnis zur Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention und zum Gerichtshof in Straßburg. Beide suchen nach Wegen, ihre Bindungen an die Vorgaben des Menschenrechts-Gerichtshofs zu lockern. Und beide nutzen als Anlass die unpopuläre Straßburger Rechtsprechung, dass auch Strafgefangenen nicht pauschal der Zugang zum Wahlrecht verwehrt werden darf.

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Russisches Eingreifen in Syrien: Eine Frage der Anerkennung

In Syrien geht es immer mehr ans Eingemachte. Die ersten russischen Luftangriffe wurden bereits geflogen, der dortige Krieg ist somit nun auch formell um eine Konfliktpartei reicher. Obendrein richteten sich diese laut den USA nicht gegen den Islamischen Staat, sondern von der CIA ausgebildete Gruppen – der Frieden scheint ferner denn je. Wie ist es völkerrechtlich um die Legalität der russischen Intervention bestellt?

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Welcoming Russian Navy to Cyprus Should Be a Violation of EU Law

The struggle for the continued observance of Article 2 TEU values in the EU is on-going. Arguably, it is now much more acute than ever before. The news that Cyprus considers granting the Russian military access to military bases on its territory is just another urgent reminder of the mounting necessity to upgrade the Union’s role in dealing with values crises in the Member States – both internally and externally – issues which are indispensable for the Union’s survival.

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At a crossroads: Russia and the ECHR in the aftermath of Markin

As part of Verfassungsblog’s topical focus on the prevailing tensions between international and national constitutional law, we go east and take a look at Russia and its unsteady relationship with the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) – particularly the lately arisen tensions between the Russian Constitutional Court (CCR) and Strasbourg in the wake of the ECtHR’s decision in the Markin case. First, and in a more general manner, we briefly review the theories conceptualizing the relationship between domestic and international law, which traditionally go by the names of monism and dualism. In doing so, we do not miss the point that, as national constitutional practice in a variety of member states of the ECHR shows, conceptual clarity in terms of commitment to one or the other grand theory is often blurred, if not contradicted (I.). Clearly, Russia is no exception (II.). The Markin case marks a turning point in the relationship between the CCR and the ECtHR as Strasbourg, for the first time, overruled a decision of the CCR, which spurred a heated constitutional debate. The repercussions are yet to be seen (III.).

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