The Russian parliament has voted to withdraw the country from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). MEPs voted on Tuesday in the Duma in the third and final reading for a law that would remove Russia from the jurisdiction of the ECtHR.
“The European Court of Human Rights has become an instrument of the political struggle against our country in the hands of Western politicians,” said the Speaker of Russia’s Lower House Vyacheslav Volodin after the vote. “Some of his decisions were in direct contradiction to the Russian Constitution, our values and traditions.”
The ECtHR is the legal arm of the Council of Europe, from which Russia was expelled for invading Ukraine. Moscow announced its exit after 26 years of membership in mid-March, anticipating a decision by the other member states.
As a result of the law that has now been passed, Russia will not implement any ECtHR judgments rendered after March 15. On that day, Moscow declared its withdrawal from the Council of Europe. The law also provides that Russian courts have the power to overturn decisions of the ECtHR.
Russia’s exclusion from the Council of Europe is likely to have far-reaching consequences. Almost a quarter of the approximately 70,000 cases pending at the ECtHR were brought by Russians.