Russian Federation: report on the Constitutional Court proceedings and judgment on the “Foreign Agent” amendments to the NGO Law

The ICJ has published the report on the Constitutional Court Proceedings and Judgment on the “Foreign Agent” Amendments to the NGO Law. The report analyses the hearing of the case before the Constitutional Court, in March 2014, which was observed by the ICJ.

It assesses whether the decision of the Constitutional Court has addressed the human rights violations affecting Russian NGOs and their members in connection with enforcement of the Amendments to the NGO Law.

Amendments to the Russian Federation NGO Law, introduced in 2012 by Law 121-FZ (“Amendments to the NGO Law”), require Russian NGOs that receive foreign funding and engage in “political activity” to register as “foreign agents”, impose additional reporting and administrative obligations on NGOs registered as foreign agents, and provide sanctions for noncompliance with these requirements.

The law, and its application in practice, has given rise to serious concerns of violations of the rights of freedom of association and expression of Russian NGOs and their members.

The compatibility of the Amendments to the NGO law with these rights, protected in international human rights law binding on the Russian Federation, was analyzed in a Legal opinion of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) in January 2014, by a panel of ICJ Commissioners.

The Opinion concluded that the amendments impose excessive and illegitimate restrictions on rights to freedom of association and expression as protected inter alia under articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and articles 19 and 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).


Róisin Pillay, Director, Europe Programme, roisin.pillay(a)

Temur Shakirov, Legal Adviser, Europe Programme, temur.shakirov(a)

Russia-Report on CC on Foreign Agent-publications-report-2014 (full text in pdf)

Russia-Report on CC on Foreign Agent-publications-reports-2014-rus (full text in pdf)

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