Russia: ICJ and Amnesty International intervene on “foreign agents” law

On 2 October, the ICJ and Amnesty International submitted an intervention before the European Court of Human Rights in the case Ecodefence and others v the Russian Federation, Application no. 9988/13 and 48 other applications, which concern labeling NGOs as foreign agents.

In this submission, the applicants provided the Court with an analysis, based on international law sources, of:

a) the scope of application of rights to freedom of expression and association guaranteed under Articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR or the Convention) to restrictions on the activity of non-governmental organisations (NGOs);

b) application of the principle of legality to such restrictions;

c) the legitimacy of the aim, necessity and proportionality of measures regulating NGOs, including restrictions on funding, burdensome reporting requirements, sanctions and the stigmatizing effect of labelling NGOs as “foreign agents”; and

d) the scope of permissible restrictions under Article 18 of the ECHR, particularly the question of interferences used for purposes other than those which fall under Articles 10 and 11 of the Convention.

The submission addresses the obligations of State parties to the ECHR with account taken of the other international law obligations, such as those under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as well as other relevant standards under international law.

Russia-ECtHR-AmicusBrief-Ecodefence-legalsubmissions-2017-ENG (download the third party intervention)

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