Functions of compensation for human rights violation in international and national judicial decisions

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Author: Dmitry Kuznetsov

DOI: 10.21128/2226-2059-2021-1-81-101

Keywords: compensation; Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation; European Court of Human Rights; international responsibility


When establishing human rights violations committed by the state, should it be violation of internationally protected rights or constitutional rights, the violator is obliged to compensate for the harm caused. In the meantime, neither international sources, nor national legal acts and case law answer the question whether the obligation to compensate is exhausted by the compensation awarded in accordance with a decision of an international judicial body or such a payment has punitive nature, and the state keeps the obligation to compensate the damage within the frameworks of national proceedings. Following the first part of opening remarks the second part of the article studies universal international law approach towards the state obligation to compensate for human rights violations, it reviews positions of the International Court of Justice, the model established in international customary law of international responsibility. The third part discusses the compensation mechanism of the European Court of Human Rights and a number of cases where the Russian Federation was the respondent state. The forth part considers national regulation of the Council of Europe states and case law thereof. The author argues that the established international case law in respect of awarding compensations for human rights violations is too restrictive – it does not take into account a complex nature of this phenomenon which includes both correction of the individual applicant situation (restitution of the pre-existed situation) and prevention of similar situations in the future. It is concluded that awarding the compensation by an international body primarily constitutes a measure of international responsibility whereas consideration by a national court is a more effective means of restitution of the applicants rights and that the national court shall not deny consideration of applicants claims due to the fact that they have already been awarded compensation by the international judicial body including the European Court of Human Rights.

About the author: Dmitry Kuznetsov – LL.M., Counsellor of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, Senior Lecturer of the Chair of Constitutional and Administrative Law, Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Citation: Kuznetsov D. (2021) Funktsii kompensatsii za narushenie prav cheloveka v nadnatsional'nykh i natsional'nykh sudebnykh resheniyakh [Functions of compensation for human rights violation in international and national judicial decisions]. Mezhdunarodnoe pravosudie, vol.11, no.1, pp.81–101. (In Russian).


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