Memorial Asks Supreme Court to Halt Proceedings Pending ECHR Judgment


International Memorial has appealed to the Supreme Court to halt proceedings in the case against the organisation.

Memorial legal team say the suspension of the Russian court proceedings should come as a consequence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decision on 29 December 2021 to invoke Rule 39 of the Court. The ECHR has asked the Russian authorities to halt the enforcement of the Supreme Court's decision to dissolve Memorial 'for a period that would be necessary for the Court to consider the application' lodged by Memorial. 

In November 2021 the General Prosecutor's Office filed a lawsuit against International Memorial over alleged violations of the 2012 'Foreign Agents' Law. On 28 December 2021 the Supreme Court handed down its decision into the case ordering the closure of International Memorial and all of its branches.

The organisation appealed the Supreme Court decision on 28 January 2022. The Appeal Chamber of the Supreme Court is due to look into the International Memorial's case on 28 February 2022.

In February 2013, several months after Russia's 'Foreign Agents' Law came into force, International Memorial, the Memorial Human Rights Centre, and other Russian NGOs submitted a joint application to the ECHR. It was communicated to the Russian government in 2017. The ECHR is yet to schedule hearings into the complaint.

As a Council of Europe member, Russia has an obligation to follow the ECHR decisions. Having received the current Memorial's submission, the Supreme Court Appeal Chamber can suspend the proceedings until the ECHR has delivered its judgment, effectively postponing Memorial's dissolution.

Full text of the International Memorial's submission to the Supreme Court (in Russian)