Monday 14 April 2014

Failures to Comply with Interim Measures

There are still serious and worrying failures of state parties to the Convention to comply with interim measures indicated by the Court under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. This was the message coming from the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) of the Council of Europe last week. It adopted a draft resolution and draft recommendation on the issue, to be sent to the plenary of PACE. Here is a summary of the Committee's position:
"The committee strongly condemns instances of outright violations by several States Parties to the Convention of the Court’s interim measures aimed at protecting applicants from extradition or deportation to countries where they would be at risk of, in particular, torture. It is worried about the recent phenomenon, observed in the Russian Federation, of the temporary disappearance of applicants protected by interim measures and their subsequent reappearance in the country which had requested extradition. This can be likened to the practice of “extraordinary renditions” repeatedly condemned by the Parliamentary Assembly.
The committee welcomes the increasing use, by the Court, of factual presumptions and the reversal of the burden of proof in dealing with refusals of States Parties to co-operate with it, which consist in their failure to provide full, frank and fair disclosure in response to requests by the Court for further information or evidence."
For a full overview of cases in which Rule 39 was breached or allegedly breached and the response of the Court, see here. And see here for a verbatim of the debate itself. The report of the rapporteur, Mr Kimmo Sasi, includes a very precise overview of recent instances of non-compiance and is to be found here (see under explanatory memorandum).