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19.01.2017 The Constitutional Court published its Judgment on the possibility of enforcement of the European Court of Human Rights judgment of 31 July 2014 with respect to the case OAO Neftyanaya Kompaniya Yukos v. Russia

The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation published its Judgement of 19 January 2017 No.1-P on the possibility of enforcement of the European Court of Human Rights judgment of 31 July 2014 with respect to the case OAO Neftyanaya Kompaniya Yukos v. Russia in accordance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The European Court of Human Rights found that the Russian Federation violated Article 1 Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights and is to pay the applicant company’s shareholders as they stood at the time of the company’s liquidation and, as the case may be, their legal successors and heirs the compensation for the pecuniary damage EUR 1 866 104 634 euro.

Having heard the case, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation found that the enforcement of the European Court of Human Rights decision of 31 July 2014 with respect to the case OAO Neftyanaya Kompaniya Yukos v. Russia would contravene the Russian Constitution. The Constitutional Court concluded that the respective judgment contradicts the Constitution as interpreted in the Judgment of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation of 14 July 2005 No.9-P. The Constitutional Court also opined that the Russian commercial courts rightfully imposed the enforcement fee amounting to 7% of the total tax liabilities. The European Court of Human Rights did not take into account that «the unprecedented tax evasion on the part of OAO “Neftyanaya Kompaniya Yukos”… posed an immediate threat to the principles of a democratic, welfare rule-of-law state». Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation considered the Applicant’s (the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation) arguments ill-founded to the extent that it referred to the ineligibility of shareholders to receive compensation, as well as to non-exhaustion of domestic remedies.

In this case, the Institute of Law and Public Policy submitted an amicus curiae brief upon request of a judge of the Constitutional Court. The brief contained research on the European Court of Human Rights case law concerning issues of admissibility of just compensation claims lodged by a company’s shareholders, as well as the ECtHR case law dealing with the criteria of lawfulness of collecting public payments (taxes, tax penalties, administrative payments, etc.). Moreover, the Institute experts studied the issue of enforceability of the European Court of Human Rights judgment of 31 July 2014 from the standpoint of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The main arguments of the brief were presented by an agent of the Institute at the hearing of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. More detailed information on the amicus curiae brief can be found under the link: /en/news/events/2016/12/15/events_703.html.

 

Selected publications on the Yukos case (in Russian):

http://kommersant.ru/doc/3196000
http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/3196400
http://legalpress.ru/view/770
http://pravo.ru/news/view/137396/
https://tvrain.ru/news/ukos-425723/

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