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Institute for Law and Public Policy

Address: 129090, Moscow, Shchepkina str., 8

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 140, Moscow, 129090, Russia

Tel.: +7 (495) 608 6959, 608 6635; Fax: +7 (495) 608 6915

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Using Constitutional and International Justice Mechanisms to Strengthen Human Rights Capabilities of the Russian Advokatura

The Russian advokatura (bar) is a significant independent force across the landscape of Russian human rights actors. However, the work of the bar members is often under pressure of repressive laws and practices that decrease the effectiveness of legal assistance provided by them. The repressive practices include, in particular, seizures of confidential case files in the course of searches of attorneys and at attorneys’ offices; restricted access of attorneys to penitentiary facilities; serious limitations on the exercise of fair trial rights in cases implicating state secrets and etc. In order to draw attention to the existing problems and to work out problem solving strategy the Institute for Law and Public Policy has developed a pilot project that will be implemented until the middle of 2018.

The project is aimed to achieve two-fold objectives:

(1)   To increase the effectiveness of using strategic constitutional and international justice mechanisms to challenge restrictive laws and practices that hamper the ability of the bar members to provide effective legal assistance;

(2)   To provide the Russian bar members - human rights defenders with tools for successful engagement in strategic litigation in the Russian Constitutional Court (hereinafter – RCC) and the European Court of human rights (hereinafter – ECtHR).

The project activities are the following:

  1. Assisting the bar members in preparing and submitting applications to the RCC and (or) the ECtHR in cases concerning restrictions of and interferences with their professional activities.
  2. Conducting 3 workshops for bar members – human right defenders in order to work out specific strategies of challenging restrictions of their activities, including through strategic litigation.
  3. Systematization of case law of the RCC and the ECtHR concerning the rights of human rights defenders in order to create an online database of case briefs and publish the ECHR Case Law Guide.
  4. Conducting webinars on contemporary landmark judgments of the RCC and the ECtHR.

The project will be implemented jointly with representatives of the Russian Bar Association with the participation of representatives of international bars and law societies.


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