Russian Federation Ceases to be a Member of the CoE
31 March 2022 (updated 1 year, 8 months ago) // Published in printed Issue 1/2022 pp 37 – 38
andras_csuri_1fc5ccbce0.jpg Dr. András Csúri

The Committee of Ministers, acting under Art. 8 of the Statute of the CoE, decided that the Russian Federation would cease to be a member of the CoE after 26 years of membership (as of 16 March 2022). Article 8 of the Statute of the CoE deals with the consequences for membership in the event of violation of Art. 3 ECHR. The events leading up to the decision:

  • 28 February 1996: Russia joins the CoE;
  • 24 February 2022: Russian military action starts in various parts of Ukraine;
  • 25 February 2022: The Committee of Ministers launches the procedure for suspension of a member’s rights of representation under Art. 8 of the Statute of the CoE and agrees to suspend the Russian Federation from its rights of representation in the CoE, in accordance with the Committee’s relevant Resolution on legal and financial consequences of the suspension;
  • 1 March 2022: The ECtHR grants an interim measure concerning Russian military operations. The Court considers the ongoing military action to constitute a real and continuing risk of serious violation of the rights of the civilian population as guaranteed by the Convention, in particular under Arts. 2 (right to life), 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment), and 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the ECHR. Under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, the ECtHR indicates to the Russian government to refrain from military attacks against civilians and civilian objects, including residential premises, emergency vehicles, and other specially protected civilian objects and to immediately ensure the safety of the medical establishments, personnel, and emergency vehicles within the territory under attack or siege by Russian troops.
  • 10 March 2022: The Committee of Ministers decides to consult the Parliamentary Assembly on potential further use of Art. 8 of the Statute.
  • 15 March 2022: The Parliamentary Assembly unanimously adopts an Opinion, which states that the Russian Federation can no longer be a member state of the Organisation. The government of the Russian Federation informs the Secretary General of its withdrawal from the CoE in accordance with the Statute of the CoE and of its intention to denounce the ECHR.
  • 16 March 2022: The Russian Federation ceases to be a member of the CoE.
  • 16 September 2022: In line with the Committee of Ministers Resolution from 23 March 2022 the Russian Federation will cease to be a High Contracting Party to the ECHR. The ECtHR will deal with applications directed against Russia in relation to alleged violations of the Convention that occurred until 16 September 2022. Russia is bound to fulfil its full financial obligations up to 16 March 2022; it also remains liable for all arrears accrued at that date.

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Dr. András Csúri

Vienna University of Economics and Business