European Convention  is not observed in Azerbaijan: lawyer

Baku / 29.01.18 / Turan: The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) continues to receive complaints from Azerbaijan on violations of rights under many articles of the European Convention. However, in recent years, complaints are most related to violation of property rights, restrictions on the rights to freedom, freedom of assembly, expression, movement, elections, torture, said in an interview with Turan the chairman of the Institute for Media Law, lawyer Rashid Hajili, who lives in Europe at the moment. There are also complaints about violations of the right to life. In many cases, the Article 13 (rights to effective remedies) is also included. The ECHR even recognized violation of the Article 18 (Limits on the use of restrictions on rights, in the case of Ilgar Mammadov) in Azerbaijan, although it is used extremely rarely.

As for Azerbaijan's implementation of the ECHR judgments, the government generally considers its case to be exhausted, paying compensation to the applicants. However, general measures, including the elimination of violations, are not taken.

Hajili refers to the experience of cases that he himself led in the ECHR. For example, in the case of journalist Agil Khalil, the government itself offered the world, assuring that it would eliminate violations. However, after a few years, nothing has been done except for the payment of compensation.

No court decision has been reviewed, the persons involved in the violence and persecution of the journalist have not been punished. The same is true for other cases.

"It is unfortunate that the government does not review the case, does not take steps to eliminate violations, does nothing to improve judicial practice, improve legislation," Hajili continued.

Are the ECHR decisions used by Azerbaijani courts as precedents?

Answering this question, Hajili said: "Azerbaijan's membership in the Council of Europe, the country's falling under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights mean that its decisions and the European Convention in general has a direct application in Azerbaijan. Decisions of the ECHR and the case law of the European Court should be directly applied by the Azerbaijani courts." In some cases, there are references to the decisions of the ECHR. Such cases were in the decisions of the Constitutional, Supreme and lower courts. However, they are fragmentary, not systemic in nature.

"Unfortunately, this is not the case in political matters, for example, related to torture. In legislation, this is also not clearly reflected. In fact, in judicial practice, the same violations are repeated. Moreover, violations of rights continue even after the decision of the ECHR. This is an indication that the government does not draw any conclusions from the decisions of the Strasbourg Court," Hajili said.

How to correct the situation? Answering this question, Hajili noted that first of all, it is necessary to train judges, prosecutors, investigators, and bodies supervising places of detention in the first place. Judicial decisions of the ECHR should be widely studied at all courts.

In addition, the said persons should be aware of the consequences of their actions if they entail violations of the rights guaranteed by the European Convention and this will be recognized by the ECHR. -16B06--

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