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Sverdlovsk Regional Non-governmental organization SUTYAZHNIK <<18 Years in the Struggle for Human Rights>> 620075 Russia, Yekaterinburg, Turgeneva 11-1 т./ f.: +7-343-355-36-51 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org web-site: www.sutyajnik.ru The ECHR FIRST SECTION Section Registrar Mr. Soren Nielsen Applications concerned 1. 23818/04 SROO Sutyazhnik (II) v. Russia 2. 42665/06 SROO Sutyazhnik (III) v. Russia The written observations by the Applicant in response to the Government's Memorandum, answers to the questions of the European Court of Human Rights, claim for just satisfaction. In response to the Russian Government's Memorandum of 16 January 2013 the Applicant assosiation states the follows. Answer to the 1^st question of the Court: Have the judgment given in the applicant associations' favour been fully enforced? If yes, what is the date of the full enforcement of the judgment? 1. The judgment of Kirovsky district court of 10 April 2002 in favor of the Applicant was fully enforced on 11 May 2005, 3 years, 1 month and 1 day after it entered into force. 2. The status of the organization as a legal entity can be confirmed only by the registration certificate which can be issued by the registration agency in accordance with articles 21, 22 of the federal law On non-governmental organizations during the month from the date of lodging the documents for the registration. 3. Article 13 of the federal law On enforcement proceedings (in edition in force before 31 January 2008) prescribed the obligation to execute the judgment during two-month period. 4. It took almost six years to get the registration certificate from the date of lodging the documents for the re-registration (16 March 1999). Answer to the 2^nd question of the Court: Having regard to the manner in which the judgment to re-register the SROO Sutyazhnik was being enforced, has there been an interference with the applicant association's freedom of association, within the meaning of Article 11 S: 1 of the Convention, as regards re-registration of SROO Sutyazhnik? If so, was that interference prescribed by law and necessary in terms of Article 11 S: 2? 1. There wa s th e in terference wi th th e ap plicant as sociation's freedom of association within the meaning of Article 11 S: 1 of the Convention. The interference of the State was not prescribed by law and was not necessary. 2. The federal law On non-governmental organizations prescribing the obligations for NGOs to re-register did not provide for any possibilities and legal grounds to reject the NGO's application on re-registration: <
>. 3. The Law prescribes the obligation of registration agency to fulfill the re-registration no later than 1 July 1999 but instead of carrying out these obligations the registration agency made every possible obstacles to re-registration of the applicant association. 4. The applicant also would like to draw the Court's attention to the following facts: * The Russian Government admits the facts of persecution of applicant association in paras 71 - 80 of the Memorandum, informing about examinations of association's activity by the registration agency and about applications to prosecutor of Sberdlovsk Region, prosecutor of Ekaterinburg city and Kirovsky district prosecutor; * The Department of Justice failed to execute judgment of Arbitrazh (Commercial) court of 17 June 1999, judgment of Oktyabrsky distict court of September 1999, judgment of Kirovsky district court of 10 April 2002. * From 1999 to 2003 the Department of Justice many times applied for the liquidation of the applicant association and for the recognition of the fact that the association stopped its activity; * the last law suit for the liquidation was lodged by the Department of Justice in 2003 when the judgment of Kirovsky district court of 10 April 2002 on obligation to re-register the association came into force and should have been executed. 5. The state authorities by their active actions (return of documents lodged for the registration, numerous refusals to re-register the association, appealing the judgments obliging to re-register the association, including extraordinal appealing (nadzor), failing to execute judments, triple efforts to lodge the lawsuit on association's liquidation) persued the liquidation of the applicant association. 1. From July 1999 to 11 May 2005 the applicant association was in fact firced to be in the underground (illegal) position as the State failed to issue the document confirming the status of the association as a re-registered legal entity. 2. The lack of legal entity status caused the following consequences: * refusals of a number of international charity funds to give the applicant assosiation the access to participate in grant contests to get support for human rights projects; * Open Sosiety Institute granted the applicant association the charitable donations for human rights project but subsequetly refused to transfer money to the account because of the lack of registration certificate; * Ministry of Justice of Russia rejected the application of the association to register it as an international association. Answer to the 3^rd question of the Court: Has there been an interference with the applicant association's freedom of association, within the meaning of Article 11 S: 1 of the Convention, as regards the attempt to re-organize SROO Sutyazhnik into an international public association? If so, was that interference prescribed by law and necessary in terms of Article 11 S: 2? 1. There was the interference with the applicant association's freedom of association within the meaning of Article 11 S: 1. The interference of the State was not prescribed by law and was not necessary in terms of Article 11 S: 2. 1. The State represented by the Ministry of Justice of Russia on 29 April 2003 rejected the registration of association as an international organization motivating the rejection by the fact that the re-registration procedure of the association was not implemented. 2. The State represented by Tverskoy district court of Moscow on 26 December 2005 confirmed the legitimacy of rejection of the Ministry of Justice. 3. The State represented by Moscow city court on 11 April 2006 upheld the judgment of Tverskoy district court. 4. The State violated the national legislation and the Convention by interfering severely into applicant's freedom of association, having had the following documents in its disposal: - certificate of Ministry of Taxation of 19 August 2002 on entry of the legal entity of NGO "Sutyazhnik" (registered before July 1, 2002) into the Unified State Register of Legal Entities; - judgement of Kirovsky district court of 10 April 2002 obliging to re-register < >. 1. No legal or necessary grounds for such interference in 1999-2008 were given in Government's memorandum. 2. Concerning the right to obtain the status of international association, the position of the Government on non-exhaustion of internal remedies proves that their previous actions were not compatible with the national law and confirms the acceptance of responsibility for the violation. Answer to the 4^th question of the Court: in the circumstances of the case, did the actions of the national authorities regarding re-registration and re-organization of SROO Sutyazhnik comply with the requirements of Article 6 S: 1 of the Convention taken in conjunction with Article 11 of the Convention? 1. Actions of the state authorities concerning the re-registration of the applicant and registration of the applicant as an international NGO paying attention to the facts of the case, were not in compliance with requirements of Article 6 (1) of the Convention taken together with Article 11 of the Convention. 2. Active actions of the state authorities (returning the documents lodged for the registration, numerous refusals to re-register the association, appealing the judgments in favor of the association and obliging to re-register the association, including extraordinal appealing, failing to execute judments, triple efforts to lodge the lawsuit on association's liquidation) prove the aim of the state authorities to create obstacles and make the activity of the applicant association impossible, force it to stop the activity which illustrates prepared strategy of national authorities to violate international human rights obligations. The applicant association managed to support the activity of the association in the framework of the legal field, despite the authorities' position and due to hard efforts of activists of the applicant association who faithfully followed many provisions of legislation (which often contradicted to each other). All the requirements of fiscal agencies implemented in periods prescribed by law, including numerous requests on re-registration and entering corresponding amendments into the Unified State Register of Legal Entities. In described circumstances of the pressure from authorities, the mere existence of association which will celebrate 19 years in 2013, would not be possible without knowledge of international mechanisms of human rights protection and skills of their application. Answer to the 5^th question of the Court: Having regard to the manner in which the judgment to re-register the applicant association was being enforced, can it be said that the applicant has suffered a significant disadvantage within the meaning of Article 35 S: 3 (b) of the Convention? 1. The ma nner in wh ich th e ju dgment to re-register the applicant association was being enforced have caused the significant disadvantage within the meaning of Article 35 S: 3 (b) of the Convention. 2. For no less than nine years national authoroties persecuted the applicant association (inspections, applications to the prosecutor's office and courts), diverting the essential resources of the association to solve the artificial conflicts. 3. The fact that the applicant association was unable to present the registration certificate excluded it from the list of possible grantees in many human rights grant financing proposals for realization of human rights projects in Russia (the average sum of annual project grant is EUR 100 000) during 8 years. 4. The lack of registration certificate also prevented the applicant from getting the financing and realization of international human rights projects (the average sum of annual project grant is EUR 1 000 000) during 8 years. The claim for the just satisfaction It is impossible to compensate the lost possibilities and to go back 10 years ago. The applicant association considers that the reasonable compensation will be EUR 1 000 000 (one million euro). This sum will be invested to the education of specialists for social and state agencies and authorities who as a result will obtain knowledge and skills on applying the Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and practice of the European Court of Human Rights at the level of master's degree (LLM). Attachment: overview of the ECHR case-law on the matter ____pages. President SROO < > S.I.Belyaev Ссылки 1. http://www.sutyajnik.ru/
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