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December 2004

Litigation of Human Rights Cases in the Higher Russian Courts (Constitutional and Supreme) and in the European Court of Human Rights

The Open Society Institute (Budapest) has agreed to fund a two year Sutyajnik project, to continue and complement Sutyajnik’s previous OSI-funded project, to prepare and conduct Human Rights cases in the higher Russian Courts (Constitutional and Supreme) and in the European Court of Human Rights. The goal of this project is to provide for domestic solutions of Human Rights problems through the development of domestic judicial practices that conform to the international standards of Human Rights as found in such international agreements as the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and the United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, etc.

Sutyajnik will carry out strategic litigation to achieve this goal. Through consultations with the public and the legal establishment and review of the media, Sutyajnik will identify and challenge actions at the local, regional, and federal level that violate international norms of Human Rights and identify the need for new legislation to reform institutions that violate Human Rights. 

Sutyajnik will continue the operation of the Consultative Bureau it operated as part of the previously OSI-funded project to provide advice regarding problems of the practical application of Human Rights norms to the actions of the local, regional, and federal government.

In connection with this project, Sutyajnik will focus on the areas previously identified as most frequently subject to violation: discrimination on a variety of grounds; violence directed by law enforcement agencies against citizens; and foreigners, barriers to NGOs enjoyment of the right of association.

A conference of NGOs, government authorities, and representatives of the mass media and education establishment will be hosted by Sutyajnik at the commencement of this project addressing  the problem of bringing Russian legal practices and legislation into conformity with international Human Rights standards. 

Sutyajnik will also publish materials on the protection of Human Rights. At the conclusion of the project Sutyajnik will prepare a report on Russian legislation and legal practices that must be enacted or reformed to conform to international Human Rights standards. Sutyajnik will also continue to update its web-accessible database of its Human Rights cases in the European Court.

Lastly Sutyajnik will train and utilize young legal interns as new soldiers in the battle for Human Rights. 

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