European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will hold on June 13 hearing into Georgia’s complaints against Russia over deportations of ethnic Georgians from Russia five years ago, the Strasbourg-based court said on Thursday.
Tbilisi wants Moscow to reimburse pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages for the alleged violation of the rights of hundreds of ethnic Georgians deported from the Russian Federation in late September 2006 and early 2007 following Russian-Georgian spy row.
ECHR found in June, 2009 the inter-state application, lodged by Georgia against Russia in March 2007, admissible to be heard on its merits. In January and February, 2011 a delegation of five ECHR judges took evidence from witnesses in Strasbourg.
The case now will be heard by Grand Chamber, the highest level of the court representing panel of 17 judges, among them ECHR’s President and Vice-Presidents.
Cases go to the Grand Chamber if parties want to appeal a ruling of a lower chamber or if a lower chamber to which the case is assigned itself relinquishes it in favor of the highest level of the court. This latter has been the case in respect of Georgia vs. Russia inter-state application. Such relinquishment of jurisdiction in favor of the Grand Chamber happens if the case “raises a serious question of interpretation of the Convention” or if there is a risk of departing from existing case-law.
Georgia also has a separate inter-state application against Russia, filed to the European Court of Human Rights in connection to the August, 2008 war. Like the first one, this war-related case has also been declared admissible and relinquished for further hearing to the Grand Chamber.