Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said it will deliver verdict into Tbilisi’s complaints against Moscow over deportations of ethnic Georgians from Russia more than seven years ago on July 3.
Georgia lodged the inter-state application against Russia in March, 2007 over 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.
The case raises multiple issues of the European Convention of Human Rights, involving prohibition of torture, right to liberty and security, right to respect for private and family life, right to an effective remedy, limitation on use of restrictions on rights, protection of property and right to education, prohibition of collective expulsion of aliens and procedural safeguards relating to expulsion of aliens.
In June, 2009 the Strasbourg-based court found Georgia’s application admissible to be heard on its merits and in January and February, 2011 ECHR judges took evidence from witnesses in Strasbourg. Public hearing of the case was held in June, 2012.
In late 2009 the case was referred for hearing to ECHR’s 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 originally 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 ECHR in connection to the August, 2008 war. This war-related case has also been referred to the Grand Chamber and the verdict is pending.