Putin signs bill that could invalidate international human rights court decisions

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |  Dec. 16, 2015 at 8:58 AM
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MOSCOW, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday signed a bill into law that would allow the Constitutional Court of Russia to invalidate decisions by international human rights courts, including the European Court of Human Rights.

State-run Russian news agency TASS reported the Constitutional Court can declare decisions by international courts "unenforceable." The Russian president and the federal government will have the responsibility of filing requests for the Constitutional Court to review.

No relevant action can be taken in Russia if the Constitutional Court rules decisions by international human rights courts are annulled, TASS writes. The Constitutional Court previously ruled that decisions by the ECHR can only be executed if they do not contradict Russia's constitution.

Human Rights Watch previously criticized the bill, saying it is "designed to thwart the ability of victims of human rights violations to find justice through international bodies when the Russian court system doesn't deliver it," adding that the bill "could have widespread consequences."

"Grim day for Russia: Putin signs law to let Moscow bin international human rights rulings." HRW European media director Andrew Stroehlein wrote in a tweet.

The new law states:

"At the request of a federal executive power body with the competence for the protection of Russian interests during the consideration at an interstate body for the protection of human rights and freedoms of complaints filed against the Russian Federation on the basis on an international agreement, the Russian Constitutional Court solves the question of the possibility of the execution of the decision of the interstate body for the protection of human rights and freedoms."

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