Table of Contents:

 

We Are Sutyajnik. 2005 ANNUAL REPORT

 

3. Sutyajniks Projects


Litigating Cases in Russias Supreme and Constitutional Courts, the European Court of Human Rights with the Support of Open Society Institute (Budapest)


Over the course of four years the NGO Sutyajnik has been strategically litigating cases in Russias Supreme and Constitutional courts, the Charter court of the Sverdlovsk oblast, and the European Court of Human Rights. In 2005 attorneys at the organization filed 11 complaints with the European Court of Human Rights regarding infringements of citizens rights as guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
 

Eighty-four cases were litigated before the Constitutional and Supreme courts of the Russian Federation and the Charter Court of Sverdlovsk oblast. For more details on case litigation see the reports section Representing the Interests of Citizens and Organizations in Courts.
 

Within the framework of this project, citizens enjoyed free consultations regarding the application to international human rights bodies; the judicial review of legislative acts on the local, regional, and federal levels that contradicted with the Russian Constitution and/or international treaties; and the judicial review of the state or municipal bodies failure to act.
 

With the goal of disseminating information and valuable experiences, our organization published Report on the Influence of Sutyajniks Litigation Practice on Russian Legislation and Law Enforcement Practice. You can familiarize yourself with the report in the section of Sutyajniks website entitled Library.
 

This year also saw the publication of Right to Life, Prohibition of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment: European Standards, Russian Legislation and Practice and Obligations of State Parties under the European Convention on Human Rights to Execute Judgments of the European Court. These are the fourth and fifth volumes of the series International Protection of Human Rights. For more details visit Sutyajniks library online.
 

Work on the project, particularly all documents regarding litigation, is regularly published on our website in the section Court Cases. Reports on each new event and court hearing are posted on the Sutyajnik-Press section of our site. As a result of our accessibility, our activity is often covered by the mass media, with the organizations lawyers giving interviews on the radio, television, and in the printed press.
 

Project website: www.sutyajnik.ru/erm/osi
 

Correspondence School on Human Rights Complete with an Internet Conference Center Supported by the MacArthur Foundation (Chicago)


Over the course of four years, the organization has moderated a public Internet Conference Centre. In 2005 the centre produced over 20 events, from round tables to conferences to presentations to video lectures.


We have also created and successfully operated the Practical School on the Application of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, thanks to which a significant number of attorneys, lawyers, legal instructors and administrators, and human rights representatives have undergone part-time and correspondence training on the application of European Conventions. In addition, because of our internship program, lawyers have increased their expertise in the effective protection of public interests and have put their skills into practice. In 2005 our correspondence school carried out five training courses.
 

Because this project ensures that we remain technologically up-to-date, our website continues to operate successfully at www.sutyajnik.ru. More detailed information about the site can be found in this report in the section Sutyajniks Website.
 

Representatives of NGOs from various regions regularly undergo monthly internships at our organization. After learning from our experience in the human rights sphere, interns leave with a higher quality level of human rights knowledge. In particular, A. N. Suslikov from the Saratov regional organization Centre for the Protection of Consumer Rights is currently working in Yekaterinburg with the framework of the initiative Receive Your Own from the State, a project that offers free assistance to citizens in collecting money awarded to them in court.
 

Our training sessions have supported not only public organization networks but also individual citizens, who learn how to apply their strengths to solve concrete problems, plan strategically to find solutions, and use the techniques they have mastered to promote public interests. In 2005 two representatives of NGOs from Saratov and Saransk interned at Sutyajnik. On average, three student-lawyers studying in Yekaterinburg law schools work three-month internships at a time.
 

For more information please visit: www.sutyajnik.ru/rus/actions/marthur04
 

Practical School for Young Lawyers on the International Protection of Human Rights Supported by the European Commission
 

The NGO Sutyajnik serves as a resource and educational centre for young lawyers from human rights organizations in Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk, Kurgan, Perm, Tyumen, Novosibirsk, and the Khanty-Manskiisk and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Areas.
 

With the support of international experts, Sutyajniks attorneys run a number of training courses. These training courses, which consist of six three-day sessions, are devoted to the implementation of international legal norms (regarding the right to life, protection from torture and discrimination, and the right to a fair trial) at the national and international levels. Over the past year, we have conducted four sessions, which constitute all together 12 working days, for 30 young practicing lawyers from non-governmental and governmental organizations and law school instructors.
 

Participants use the knowledge and skills acquired in training in free consultations with citizens on applying to international courts. They also translate the European Courts verdicts so as to make them more accessible though Sutyajniks website. As a result of our work in training, two participants were chosen to take part in an educational trip to the Council of Europe in March 2006.
 

Thanks to the involvement of international experts, teachers of law schools, and non-commercial organizations in our project, we have issued the fourth volume of the series International Protection of Human Rights, Right to Life, Prohibition of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment: European Standards, Russian Legislation and Practice. This publication includes a foreword by Paul Chikovym, legal director of the foundation Public Verdict and director of the Kazan Human Rights Centre, as well as several chapters by Kevin Boyle, a professor of international human rights law at the Centre of Human Rights at Essex University.
 

For more information visit http://euro.sutyajnik.ru/ru
 

Arbitrariness in Law Enforcement Bodies: Practice and Origins
 

The NGO Sutyajnik acts as a regional partner in the Moscow Helsinki Groups project Arbitrariness in Law Enforcement Bodies: Practice and Origins.
 

The organizations activity is dedicated to examining arbitrariness in law enforcement bodies, revealing basic shortcomings and infringements in the law enforcement system, drafting recommendations for government structures, and developing concrete strategies for NGOs to solve the problems recognized by the project.
 

In 2005, the organization conducted a survey of Sverdlovsk oblast citizens regarding their attitude toward officials of law enforcement bodies. The regions law enforcement officers were described by citizens as: poor, greedy, unscrupulous, and idlers. These characteristics can unfortunately be found in practice.
 

One example is the case of Smolianinova in connection with the death of her son in Serov police station due to torture by investigators. As a result of our project, a press conference was held before a court hearing on the case initiated by Smolianinova.

 

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