Today, the ICJ submitted information to the UN Human Rights Committee in advance of its examination of the Russian Federation’s seventh periodic report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
The submission draws attention to the ICJ’s concerns relating to the independence of the judiciary in the Russian Federation, which remains weak, with many judges lacking an understanding of what it means in practical terms to exercise independent judicial power. In many cases, they are prone to undue influence, either from outside interests or from inside the judicial hierarchy.
This submission addresses three aspects of particular concern:
- The selection, appointment and promotion process for judges, in which a gap exists between law and practice, and “extra-procedural” influence and shortcuts persist;
- The judicial disciplinary system, in particular dismissal of judges; and,
- The recent process of appointment of judges to the Supreme Court.
Without comprehensive reform addressing these structural deficiencies, the right of everyone to fair proceedings before competent, independent and impartial tribunals established by law, guaranteed under Article 14 of the ICCPR, is impeded.