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Legal English: Human Rights
1. Legal English: Human RightsTamilla Imanova
HSE Legal English Club
2. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)• The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is an
international human rights court founded in 1959 in
Strasbourg, France. Considers complaints about violations
of the rights stated in the 1950 Convention for the
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
• Has jurisdiction in Russia (the right to consider
complaints) since 1998. In 20 years, more than 3,000
decisions were delivered against Russia. The Constitutional
Court of the Russian Federation allowed the Russian
authorities not to execute only two decisions of the
ECHR - the case of YUKOS shareholders and ‘Anchugov
and Gladkov v. Russia’.
• To date, the ECHR has also resolved 4 interstate cases,
including ‘Georgia vs. the Russian Federation’ (3 July 2014).
3. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights• The Inter-American Court of Human Rights considers cases from member States
of the Organization of American States (OAS) that have ratified the American
Convention on Human Rights. The Court began to function in 1979 after the
Convention entered into force. The residence of the Court - San Jose, Costa Rica.
• Unlike the ECHR, individuals cannot apply directly to the Court. The transfer of
cases for consideration is carried out by the Commission and the States party to
the Convention. Individuals may apply to the Commission.
• The Inter-American Commission on human rights is an organ of the OAS.
Considers complaints regarding violations of the Convention by States Parties
and may refer these complaints to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights if
the respondent State agrees to transfer it. The residence - Washington, USA.
4. The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights and the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights• The Court was established on the basis of the Protocol to the African
Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. The Protocol entered into
force in 2004 after its ratification by more than 15 countries. The
residence of the Court - Arusha, Tanzania. The court resolves all cases
and disputes arising out of the interpretation and application of the
Charter, its Protocol and any other human rights instrument ratified by
the states concerned. The court also has an advisory function.
• The African Commission (established in 1987) promotes and protects
human rights and also interprets the Charter. With the creation of the
African Court, the Commission has the additional task of preparing
cases for submission to the Court. The residence of the Commission
- Banjul, Gambia.
5. The UN Human Rights Treaty-based Bodies (Committees and subcommittees)There are 10 human rights treaty bodies that monitor
the implementation of the core international human
rights treaties. 8 of them (underlined) can receive and
consider individual complaints or communications
from individuals. Citizens of the Russian Federation
may file complaints to 4 committees (in red):
• Human Rights Committee (CCPR)
• Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural
• Committee on the Elimination of Racial
• Committee on the Elimination of
Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
• Committee against Torture (CAT)
• Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT)
• Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW)
• Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
• Committee on the Rights of Persons with
• Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED)
6. Universal Declaration on Human Rights 10 December 1948 – 70 years next month!The Universal Declaration on Human
Rights is not a treaty, so it is not legally
binding (does not directly create legal
obligations for countries). However, it is an
expression of the fundamental values
which are shared by all members of the
international community and it has had a
profound influence on the development of
international human rights law.